Taken from an article called “Southeast Asia’s Stark Democracy Lessons” by Michael Vatikiotis that was published via asiasentinel.com on 10 September 2013.
(Michael Vatikiotis is Asia regional director of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. This is from a speech delivered at the Uniting for the Future Conference, Bangkok Sept. 2, 2013.)
Southeast Asia is no stranger to the challenges of unity and reconciliation. The early phases of nation-building were characterized by struggle and upheaval stemming from the reluctance of established conservative elites to share power. Democratic forms of government were deemed unsuited to societies that were organized along hierarchical lines and dominated by narrow interest groups.