After the passage of two decades, the situation in Southeast Asia is quite different from what is written here. For one thing, ASEAN membership has increased from five in 1978 to nine, including Vietnam, the country the original members dreaded for so long. Many countries in the region have achieved remarkable economic development, well beyond their expectations in the 1970s, although they are presently beset by currency crises. Notwithstanding, I have decided to reprint the paper in a bound edition for limited distribution with a hope that it may serve as a reference, despite its outdatedness, to students of Southeast Asia, an analysis that an Asian journalist made of the region?s complex circumstances in the late 1970s. As I see it, many of the problems discussed in the paper, especially those involving the sociopolitical setting and leadership performance by power elites in a number of countries, still persist in various forms to hinder the further progress of each nation and the region as a whole. The paper?s text, including facts and figures, is same as the original, except for minor copyreading corrections.