2016

COLUMN: Najib’s Dangerous and Self-Serving Rohingya Campaign
(December 24, 2016, The Diplomat)
The Malaysian prime minister’s intrusion into a sensitive issue in Myanmar carries risks of its own.

COLUMN: The Trouble With John Pilger’s The Coming War on China
(December 23, 2016, The Diplomat)
A closer look at a new documentary.

Papua New Guinea’s oil and gas boom – blessing or curse?
(December 22, 2016 – Mongabay)
Resource extraction projects in Papua New Guinea have a decidedly mixed history. Will things be different this time around?

COLUMN: The Trouble With Timor-Leste’s Gender Quotas
(December 17, 2016, The Diplomat)
The devil lies in the details.

Sam Rainsy’s last stand?
(December 16, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
After losing four elections and with cracks in his party widening, the 2018 general election could be Sam Rainsy’s last as the leader of the Cambodian opposition

That Time I Got Arrested in Laos
(December 09, 2016 – Ozy)
When the business end of an AK-47 is pointed at you, the invitation of a lift back to your hotel cannot be turned down

How Cambodia’s garment industry can survive automation
(December 7, 2016 – Focus Asean)
Experts predict that automation will be the future of manufacturing, which could have profound implications for Cambodia’s 600,000 garment workers

COLUMN: Shifting Idylls: Urban-Rural Dynamics in Cambodia
(December 6, 2016, The Diplomat)
A closer look at how the city and the countryside – and perceptions of them – are evolving.

November 2016

COLUMN: The Trouble With Cambodia’s Largest Opposition Party
(November 26, 2016, The Diplomat)
Internal criticism needs to become the norm if it is to become a truly democratic alternative.

COLUMN: Beware the Specter of Reactionism in Southeast Asia
(November 24, 2016, The Diplomat)
The region is not immune from a trend we are witnessing globally.

Time for Suu Kyi’s Second Revolution in Myanmar
(November 19, 2016, The Diplomat)
She and her party must complete the work that they have only just begun.

COLUMN: Is China’s Influence in Timor-Leste Rising? 
(November 19, 2016, The Diplomat)
While there are indications of Beijing’s growing reach, its role needs to be kept in perspective.

Deep sea mining plans for Papua New Guinea raise alarm
(November 18, 2016 – Mongabay)
Hydrothermal vents create both hotspots of deep-sea biodiversity and rich mineral deposits. Papua New Guinea is at the center of a debate about whether these sites should be preserved or mined.

Bersih and the battle to unseat Najib Razak
(November 8, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
For the past decade, Malaysian protest movement Bersih has been demanding sweeping political change. But Prime Minister Najib Razak is unlikely to feel threatened as long as the country’s opposition remains weak and fragmented

COLUMN: Is Cambodia’s Expanded Minimum Wage Really a Good Idea?
(November 04, 2016, The Diplomat)
A closer look at a proposal.

COLUMN: Does Cambodia Really Care About Its Disabled?
(November 03, 2016, The Diplomat)
The evidence suggests that more attention needs to be given to the problem

October 2016

COLUMN: The Truth About Anti-Vietnam Sentiment in Cambodia
(October 20, 2016, The Diplomat)
A closer look at a subject that often does not get enough sustained attention.

Has Obama’s Pivot to Asia Been a Success or Failure?
(October 17, 2016 – World Politics Review)
September revealed the limits of U.S. President Barack Obama’s engagement in Asia.

Asean summit provides platform for Laos’ revamped foreign policy
(October 4, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
The recent Asean Summit held in the Lao capital of Vientiane provided a perfect opportunity for the country to start carving out a more independent foreign policy

September 2016

Man v machine: overcoming human error in the workplace
(September 27, 2016 – Focus Asean)
In 2015, businesses across the world spent an estimated $75 billion on cyber security. But what do you imagine was the leading cause of data breaches? Perhaps hacking, or malware? Maybe it was even a raft of insecure networks? No, it was human error

Laos: Reform or Revolution
(September 28, 2016 – The Diplomat)
What is the likelihood that political change will come to Laos?

Fever Pitch
(26 September, 2016 – Going Places Magazine)
Meet Chiu Keng Guan, one of Malaysia’s most successful film directors

Cambodia’s ‘Party for Moderate Progress Within the Boundaries of Law’
(September 21, 2016, The Diplomat)
Why has Cambodia proven unable to conduct serious reforms?

Red dawn: A look at Russia’s own ‘pivot to Asia’
(September 16, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
Barack Obama’s ‘Pivot to Asia’ has been snatching all the headlines, but Russia embarked on a pivot of its own well before the US

How China Came to Dominate Cambodia
(September 1, 2016 – The Diplomat)
How Cambodia went from denouncing China to being Beijing’s most faithful client state.

August 2016

A Political Divide Over Islamic Law Could Undo Malaysia’s Social Fabric (August 30, 2016 – World Politics Review)

The Malaysian scientist pioneering an alternative cancer treatment
(August 17, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
Malaysian scientist Chern Ein Oon has been lauded for her cancer research seeking an alternative to chemotherapy. She discusses her work, societal expectations and the difficulties women face in her field

Thailand’s Junta Cements Control as Voters Approve New Constitution
(August 9, 2016 – World Politics Review)

Cambodia’s Facebooker-in-Chief 
(August 3, 2016 – The Diplomat)
How Hun Sen and his Cambodian People’s Party came to adopt social media.

The Missionary Position: Divorce in the Philippines
(August 02, 2016, The Diplomat)
The Philippines is one of only two countries in the world where divorce is illegal. Is that about to change?

May 2016

No end to Timor-Leste’s political infighting
(May 20, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
Despite optimism following a governmental shift that promised an end to political instability, recent events suggest the old ways live on in Timor-Leste

July 2016

Rise of the Southeast Asian entrepreneur
(July 28, 2016 – Focus Asean)
Over the past two decades, Southeast Asia has seen a new breed of entrepreneur – along with improved education, technology development and better government investment. But can the region become the world’s next Silicon Valley?

A business insider’s guide to cracking conferences
(July 19, 2016 – Focus Asean)
Tyron McGurgan, CEO of events company Media Corp International, reveals the secret of reaching decision-makers and supplying a “bullseye hit” for delegates

New laws could spell end of Malaysia as “vaping wonderland”
(July 12, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
Malaysia has long been a bastion of vaping in Southeast Asia. But government regulation of the industry might soon curtail the country’s e-cigarette boom

The uncertain future of Cambodia and Myanmar’s banking industries
(July 4, 2016 – Focus Asean)
Cambodia and Myanmar are seeing swift economic growth. But can their banking industries keep up with the demands of an increasingly connected world?

June 2016

Good riddance to the culture of dialogue
(June 30, 2016, New Mandala)
Instead of a dialogue with the government, Cambodia’s embattled opposition party must focus on a dialogue with the people.

Sam Rainsy: The Coward?
(June 23, 2016, The Diplomat; republished by Courrier International)
A closer look at Cambodia’s opposition leader in exile. 

The Triangulation of Cambodian Politics
(June 16, 2016, The Diplomat)
The CNRP may well have more to fear from the CPP’s triangulation than its intimidation.

Should Suu Kyi lead Burma?
(June 9, 2016, New Internationalist)
Seldom do political leaders resign after their ‘struggle’ has been achieved. Should be the case in Burma?

The Cogs of Indonesia’s Death Machine
(June 8, 2016, The Diplomat)
Indonesia’s executions for drug-related crimes are based on political expedience, not necessity.

May 2016

Too much information? The rise of big data
(May 26, 2016 – Focus Asean)
The digital revolution has led to the propagation of big data, leading some to question the ability of business to cope with this tsunami of information?

Taxation, death and democracy
(May 25, 2016, New Internationalist)
When Benjamin Franklin uttered his memorable bon mots, ‘nothing in this world is certain except death and taxes’, still resonating was the echo of another aphorism, ‘no taxation without representation’ 

Jakarta’s water management fight echoes around the world
(May 17, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
Jakarta’s water is controlled by big business, but activists are pushing for the city to follow a worldwide water management trend back to public ownership

Is Cambodia’s skyscraper dream a nightmare?
(May 6, 2016, New Internationalist)
The monumental building work that is currently going on in Cambodian capital city Phnom Penh may also reveal the inadequacies of the country’s ‘progress’

April 2016

Failure to enforce jobs quota law shortchanges Cambodia’s disabled
(April 26, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
For almost six years, no government agency or private business has been fined for missing their quota for disabled workers

Choosing the perfect brand ambassador
(April 26, 2016 – Focus Asean)
Brand ambassadors and celebrity endorsements are de rigueur in today’s media-savvy world. But how do you pick the right person for the job?

Smart Axiata Cambodia CEO on how to see off competitors
(April 11, 2016 – Focus Asean)
Smart Axiata Cambodia has seen off robust competition in the country’s telecoms sector to emerge as one of the industry’s key players. CEO Thomas Hundt discusses the shifting market and how his firm has stayed ahead of the curve

Mexico’s most-feared drug cartels are infiltrating the region
(April 7, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
Notorious for beheading rivals and massacring civilians, Mexican drug cartels are expanding into Southeast Asia

March 2016

What makes us buy the things we don’t need?
(March 31, 2016 – Focus Asean)
From supermarket sound systems to advertising and branding, consumer psychology shapes our shopping habits. Focus Asean explores the history of the science

Bespoke rules as consumers turn away from mass production
(March 29, 2016 – Focus Asean)
Consumers are moving from identikit items to customised creations in a megatrend that strategists have dubbed the “youniverse”

Confirmation bias and the science of belief
(March 25, 2016 – Focus Asean)
Just like an optical illusion, our minds can be tricked into seeing what isn’t there thanks to a concept called confirmation bias

Q&A: Long-term planning the key to sustainable cities
(March 18, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
Professor Mark Tewdwr-Jones of Newcastle University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape discusses the future of Southeast Asia’s cities

Revealing Cambodia’s secret Khmer Rouge resistance
(March 17, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
The prevailing image of Cambodians under the Khmer Rouge is one of dignified suffering and passivity. But many resisted the regime in ways often overlooked by historians

Financing the future of cities
(March 16, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
Governments will need to think creatively to find the funds for futuristic infrastructure projects

February 2016

Vietnam’s autumn
(February 16, 2016 – New Internationalist)
Capitalism and profiteering are allowed but democracy and freedom are noticeably absent 

Thai nationalism and the rise of Buddhist extremism
(February 11, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
As a campaign to make Buddhism the state religion of Thailand ramps up, concerns about radicalism have come to the fore, along with concern over how this renewed religiosity could be used in an already divided country

Could improved tax collection strengthen democracy in Cambodia?
(February 9, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
With Cambodia starting to collect more tax, some argue it could increase political accountability in the Kingdom

Holy sin: child abuse in Cambodia’s Buddhist pagodas
(February 5, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
Recent cases of monks committing child abuse have focused attention on the response from authorities and the Buddhist hierarchy

Could improved tax collection strengthen democracy in Cambodia?
(February 9, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
With Cambodia starting to collect more tax, some argue it could increase political accountability in the Kingdom

January 2016

Thinking of a change: 17 Triggers
(January 28, 2016 – Focus Asean)
What if, inside all of us, there is an emotional ‘elephant’ and rational ‘elephant rider’ competing to determine our actions? Mike Rios of 17 Triggers, a Cambodia-based advertising agency that works with the development sector, explains his hard-learned lessons on how to get people to change their behaviours

The believers: Southeast Asia’s UFO enthusiasts
(January 16, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
UFOs were first reported in the region in 1810. Nowadays, aliens are calling on the telephone, cloning using only their fingers and preparing to lend a hand in the aftermath of World War Three. Welcome to the hospitable world of Southeast Asia’s UFO enthusiasts

The politics of imagination: Patrick Samnang Mey
(January 13, 2016 – Southeast Asia Globe)
Comic book creator Patrick Samnang Mey discusses the difficulties he faced in having his work published and why there is so little political art in Cambodia