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Opinion

ASEAN needs an urgent makeover

Bloc should ditch consensus rules and equip states to address regional crises

| Southeast Asia
ASEAN foreign ministers pose for a photo in Nha Trang, Vietnam, in January 2020: the inertia to remain weak and toothless will be hard to combat.   © AP

Michael Vatikiotis is Asia director of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and the author of "Blood and Silk: Power and Conflict in Modern Southeast Asia."

The military coup in Myanmar and its violent aftermath have raised existential questions about whether the Association of Southeast Asian Nations really serves any useful purpose for the region's 632 million people.

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