EU Blog IPKat published a post on the interesting subject of which countries restrict their inventors from first filing patents abroad (similar to the US foreign filing license). Which got IP Komodo's brain wondering about South East Asia. So here is the list of key ASEAN markets:
Singapore requires all residents (including expats) to obtain approval from the Registrar of Patents to first file abroad.
Malaysia too prevents residents including companies from first filing aboard unless approval has been given.
Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand have no such restrictions.
IP Komodo suggests that when a country reaches a certain threshold of technology development such restrictions are sensible provided they are easy to comply with. But countries which are still developing may not have enough domestic technology to make the restrictions worth having.