Commentaries

GPS in Sarawak: Finding the Way In … or Out?

 

Political turbulence in Kuala Lumpur and the emergence of two competing coalitions have returned the Gabungan Parti Sarawak to its traditional role as kingmaker

 

 

Power Transition in Malaysia: A Messy Mosaic

 

Politics ructions over the weekend have pulled the rug on Pakatan Harapan’s control over state legislatures

 

 

A Political Earthquake, More Aftershocks to Come

 

A manic Monday in Malaysia means that the country could be ruled by one of two competing coalitions

 

 

Rigorous Vetting: The Senate Strikes Back?

 

Too early to conclude that Upper House has found a new independence apart from the Thai military

 

 

Apathetic Young Voters in Myanmar? Think Again

 

The received wisdom about political apathy among the country’s youth needs to be re-examined.

 

 

Mass Shooting: Thai Military in the Cross-Hairs

 

A mass shooting in Thailand has put the spotlight on the military’s involvement in business.

 

 

Manila’s VFA Termination: A Win for China and Russia

 

Manila’s decision to withdraw from the 1998 Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States will benefit China and Russia. Russia’s attempt to cozy up to the Philippines, however, might not be wholly welcomed by Beijing.

 

 

“Hun Sen’s China Visit: Love in the Time of Coronavirus” by Lye Liang Fook

 

2020/14, 10 February 2020

At a time when China is preoccupied with tackling the coronavirus and grappling with criticisms for its tardy initial response to contain the spread, it appears to have received a shot in the arm with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Beijing on February 5. Hun Sen’s visit did not make any material difference to the resources available to China to fight the coronavirus. Neither does it affect Beijing’s determination to overcome this latest crisis. The main value of Hun Sen’s visit lies in the symbolic expression of support. Beijing has also been quick in zeroing in on two key aspects: the message that China seeks to convey, and the implications for China-Cambodia relations.

 

 

“No-Confidence Motion in Thailand: Collateral Damage” by Termsak Chalermpalanupap

 

2020/13, 6 February 2020

The Thai opposition’s campaign to pressure Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-ocha and five of his ministers is generating a blast of political hot air. Still, the joint motion calling for a no-confidence debate – which will be held at the end of February – might actually result in some collateral damage. At least two of the five ministers are vulnerable and dispensable.

 

 

“New Peace Talks in Southern Thailand: a New Hope?” by Supalak Ganjanakhundee

 

2020/12, 5 February 2020

A plan to initiate dialogue between Thai authorities and the armed separatists of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) in Malaysia next month will bring a ray of hope to the predominantly Muslim Patani region of South Thailand. This, however, is predicated on stakeholders compromising for the sake of lasting peace.