Bound in a symbiosis of economic links, Thailand and Malaysia are partners yet rivals at the same time. Yet is trade the only tie connecting the countries of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)? Dr Farish A. Noor, Associate Professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at NTU delves into the commonalities between ASEAN members in this four-part series. From straddling both sides of the Golok River border between Malaysia and Thailand to examining the origins of cultural artifacts, he finds out how the resurgence of violence and tussles over claims to cultural products have divided the countries of South East Asia despite their similarities.
With a plethora of cultural differences and fractious national identities, is the idea of an integrated ASEAN feasible? Traveling to various countries in SEA, Dr Farish engages youths from various South East Asian countries and steps into their shoes to uncover how they view the future of ASEAN.