The South China Sea: A Nuanced Understanding Required

KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 22, 2024 – (ACN Newswire via – Leading regional commentator, and analyst, Eddin Khoo, and Crisis Management Centre founder, Nordin Abdullah, are starting a series of talks in the ASEAN region on issues around the South China Sea. The objective of these talks is to achieve a nuanced understanding of the activities surrounding this critical waterway and the potential impact on the corporate sector.

The Malaysia Global Business Forum (MGBF) in collaboration with the Crisis Management Centre will be hosting the first talk in this series in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Wednesday (24 April), titled ‘The South China Sea: Central to ASEAN’s Business Future?’.

Eddin Khoo, a renowned writer, said, “As we approach the half-century anniversary of that most defining of global events – the end of the Vietnam War, the region of the South China Sea appears to be drawn back, whether of its own volition or not, to superpower tensions.”

“Since the end of the Vietnam war, much of this region has devoted itself to economic development, emerging as one of the principal regions for the inflow of capital anywhere in the world, especially in that once lauded period termed ‘The Age of Globalisation’.

“As the period of the end of the age of globalisation is at once cautioned and heralded, and as the South China Sea is marked for a period of superpower contestation, how much, in these past five decades, has the region been able to ‘state a case for itself’?,” continued Eddin.

The South China Sea handles roughly USD3.37 trillion in global trade annually, and is crucial for multinational corporations; however, territorial disputes often threaten trade routes and livelihoods dependent on its resources.

Nordin Abdullah said, “Everyone is aware of the obvious geographical choke points. The media have hyped up the spectres of single points of failure in global supply chains and past Black Swan events have produced volumes of analysis laden with hindsight bias.”

“Most bilateral and multilateral efforts relating to activities in the South China Sea are largely government to government. Yet it will be the corporate sector that is impacted first if any significant disruption takes place,” he continued.

Through ancient history, South East Asian nations were connected by extensive maritime trade networks. Trade routes such as the Maritime Silk Road facilitated the exchange of goods, ideas, and technologies among the numerous kingdoms and empires in the region.

Regional geopolitical tensions could disrupt maritime activities, impacting communities and millions employed in industrial activities dotted along the shores. Effective risk mitigation and crisis response strategies are imperative for corporations investing and operating in the area.

Nordin, who is also the MGBF founding chairman, concluded, “Simple diametrically opposed broad-stroke narratives are no longer sufficient for the corporate sector. A nuanced understanding is required for every organisation in any given jurisdiction. To achieve any level of anticipation, let alone foresight leadership, teams need to work through the data and conduct effective scenario planning.”

Businesses operating in the South China Sea must diversify supply chains, invest in alternative transportation routes, and engage in corporate diplomatic initiatives to safeguard their interest. These will be amongst matters discussed and addressed during the lunch talk in Kuala Lumpur, including the dynamic relationship between business and politics in ASEAN, and how corporations with regional and global supply chains manage potential threats.

The lunch talk will be an in-person event and requires pre-registration. The participation fee is RM138 per person. A special price of RM88 is available for members of the Malaysia Australia Business Council (MABC) and other partner chambers.

For more information, visit this event page on Malaysia Global Business Forum’s website:

About Malaysia Global Business Forum

The Malaysia Global Business Forum (MGBF) was established to empower stakeholders at the intersection of international and Malaysian business. Through government relations, business intelligence, advocacy, media engagement, market research, networking, advisory and business matching, MGBF will continue to explore threats and opportunities with industry leaders and policy makers to ensure that Malaysia becomes a leader in the context of Asia.

For more information, visit

About Crisis Management Centre

The Crisis Management Centre was established to empower individuals, corporations, industry associations and governments to effectively deal with all aspects of crisis. The Crisis Management Centre has been able to pioneer several ground-breaking concepts in the field of crisis management including the ‘Reputation-Revenue Dynamic’, which is a data-driven, community and communications framework for addressing areas of concern, crisis, and conflict.

For more information, visit

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