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by Rizal Hamdan 15th December 2020

ON Dec 4, the United States House of Representatives approved a bill on decriminalising marijuana. The landmark legislation would ultimately lead to the removal of non-violent marijuana-related convictions.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CDN) removed marijuana from the strictest control schedule listing, in recognising its medical and therapeutic benefits.


by Rizal Hamdan 10th November 2020

ON Nov 3, Americans went to the polls to elect their next president. After a month of tiresome campaigning, the United States presidential election reached its peak, when a projected 161 million voters cast their votes to determine which candidate was the most capable of taking the helm of the world's superpower.


by Rizal Hamdan 6th November 2020

Generation Z is probably puzzled and filled with questions if someone suddenly asks them about Tun Dr. Ismail. Is it a namesake of the mid-size township in Kuala Lumpur or the MRT station? History probably remembers him as a former Deputy Prime Minister and the first person to be laid to rest at the Heroes’ Mausoleum (Makam Pahlawan) near Masjid Negara.   Nonetheless, to readers know the diplomatic history of Malaysia, this renowned figure is also responsible for charting the orientation of Malaysia’s foreign policy.

Indonesia In The Middle of Superpowers Rivalry

by Rizal Hamdan 19th October 2020

The potential for Indonesia to become Asia’s next superpower is massive. In terms of economy, Indonesia’s GDP is the largest with accounting for almost 35 percent of total GDP ASEAN member countries combined. The world’s largest archipelago is moving towards rapid paces in development and vibrant economy.


Therefore, Indonesia as an emerging power with robust market, is vital to the United States of America (US) and the People’s Republic of China’s (China) geopolitical strategy.

Muhyiddin Yassin's Maiden UNGA Address: Assertive But Not Quite Enough

by Rizal Hamdan 5th October 2020

The United Nations was born out of a global crisis. After 75 years, the world Intergovernmental organization is yet to confront another in the form of the global outbreak of COVID-19. On the 26th of September, Prime Minister Muhyiddin made his first appearance as the Head of Government by giving maiden address (pre-recorded video statement) at the UNGA. As a foreign policy observer, I was glad that the Prime Minister’s speech covers several key points concerning the new dynamics of international relations.

Navigating The Geopolitical Challenges In UAE-Israel's Normalization

by Rizal Hamdan 12th September 2020

On the 13th of August 2020, the world was surprised by an agreement to normalize diplomatic relations between the United Arab Emirates (the UAE) and the Arabs countries' archenemy, Israel.  Islamic movements around the world relatively perceived a diplomatic manoeuvre by the UAE as outrageous, backstabbing, and blasphemous. For example, the Islamic Party of Malaysia's (PAS) Youth Division thought the normalization as an act of betrayal to the international Muslim community. Meanwhile, Hamas slams the Emirati recognition of Israel as "a desperate attempt to influence the struggle to defeat the occupation and the fulfilment of the Palestinian rights".

Covid-19 & ASEAN: Every Nation for Itself
by Rizal Hamdan 29th April 2020

At the beginning of 2020, 2 leaders in ASEAN start the year with a fresh mandate, after winning the general election in their respective countries. Mr. Joko Widodo was re-elected as the President of the Republic of Indonesia, despite a bruising battle against a former general, Prabowo Subianto. 


Post-2019 General Election Thailand, multiple parties declared support for military junta leader, General Prayut Chan-O-Cha as the next Prime Minister. Hence, prolonging the military legacy in Thailand's politics. 


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