Articles from 2018


US sanctions loom over Hun Sen’s ‘illegitimate’ polls
(July 26, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Newly passed US House of Representatives Act names Cambodian PM, his family and ruling party stalwarts as sanctions targets for anti-democratic activities

Promises, promises: Can Hun Sen deliver on his vows?
(July 26, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Cambodian leader’s ruling CPP is blatantly campaigning on banned CNRP’s previous policies ahead of a virtually uncontested July 29 election

Lao dam disaster points to Communist Party failings
(July 25, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Collapse of Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy Dam may have killed hundreds while exposing the poor governance and endemic corruption under hidebound communist rule

Why Vietnam is quitting Facebook
(July 23, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Activists, dissidents and writers are gravitating to other social media platforms as Facebook appears to acquiesce to government censorship demands

Vietnam dodges a diplomatic bullet with America
(July 20, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Court-ordered deportation of US citizen William Anh Nguyen, held for over a month on security charges, shows Hanoi’s repression has strategic limits

Cambodia’s small parties aim for an electoral surprise
(July 17, 2018 – The Asia Times)
The 19 parties contesting the ruling CPP are obscure, unproven and under fire as ‘puppet parties’ but are running largely on progressive platforms

Risks and returns in China’s digital designs for SE Asia
(July 16, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Beijing aims to build a ‘digital silk road’ to neighboring region but trade wars, censorship and cyber-espionage point to a perilous path

Clean fingers could stain Cambodia’s election
(July 11, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party has launched a ‘clean finger’ boycott campaign to undermine the credibility of this month’s polls

In nod to North Korea, Pompeo praises Vietnam
(July 9, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Top US diplomat reportedly failed to mention rights or democracy during visit to Hanoi, a signal meant for Pyongyang’s consumption






COLUMN: Why Boycotting Malaysia’s Election Makes Sense
(February 7, 2018 – The Diplomat)
The opposition to the campaign to spoil votes at the polls misses the point.

Who will pay Vietnam’s rising tax bill?
(February 7, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Communist Party grapples with how to raise state revenues without stoking perceptions it taxes the poor more than the rich

Almost Noble: A Review of ‘Punji Trap’
(February 6, 2018 – The Saigoneer)
The Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen’s breakthrough 2015 novel, is a fictional tale of a North Vietnamese spy working inside the South Vietnamese army during the last legs of the American War. Duality and split lives occupy the core of the novel, almost in a Kafkaesque fashion. Luke Hunt’s recently published Punji Trap — Pham Xuan An: The Spy Who Didn’t Love Us considers the same questions of morality in a Vietnamese spy, only this time it is not fictional.

Politicized protection for Cambodian royalty
(February 3, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Proposed lèse majesté law could shield from criticism a wide range of royally decorated political actors, including Prime Minister Hun Sen

No safe place for SEAsia’s Shia Muslims
(February 2, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Rising anti-Shiite sentiment owes to Saudi-influenced Wahhabism, a literalist reading of Islam that promotes intra-religious persecution

Where Malaysia’s election will be won and lost
(February 2, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Ruling and opposition coalitions vie for votes and influence in Borneo swing states


COLUMN: Beware the Destruction of Civil Society in Laos
(January 30, 2018 – The Diplomat)
A look at a worrying aspect of the country’s deteriorating human rights situation.

Unchecked and unopposed, Hun Sen is all powerful
(January 24, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Long-serving Cambodian leader consolidates control ahead of polls and a possible leadership transition to one of his children

Will Cambodia’s repressed opposition rise up?
(January 21, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Leader Sam Rainsy drops the gauntlet with threats of ‘huge’ anti-government protests and calls on the military to mutiny for his movement

COLUMN: Does Cambodia’s New Opposition Movement Really Matter?
(January 17, 2018 – The Diplomat)
A closer look at the new Cambodia National Rescue Movement.

Mahathir’s last gasp for power and retribution
(January 13, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Nonagenarian ex-premier’s old strongman ways are alienating those he needs to galvanize ahead of fast-approaching elections in Malaysia

China flexes its control on the Mekong
(January 11, 2018 – The Asia Times)
This week’s Mekong-Lancang Cooperation summit did more to facilitate Beijing’s economic penetration than address the waterway’s many problems

In election mode, Najib bids to shine online
(January 10, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Ruling coalition aims to connect with tech-savvy voters amid deep-seated perceptions of being aloof, elitist and resistant to change

China’s clean-up could dump on SEAsia
(January 10, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Beijing’s new ban on various solid waste imports presents recycling opportunities and environmental risks to neighboring Southeast Asia

Political deadlock augurs ill for Timor Leste
(January 9, 2018 – The Asia Times)
Unity has yielded to division as the young nation faces a potentially volatile constitutional crisis

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