Columnnist

Sek Sophal

Researcher at the Democracy Promotion Centre

Sek Sophal is a researcher at the Democracy Promotion Centre, the Risumeikan Centre for Asia Pacific Studies, Japan.

Sek Sophal
13 Jan 2020

New subs sign of troubles to come?

The Indian navy just transferred one of its Russian-made Kilo-class diesel-electric attack submarines to the Myanmar navy in late 2019, making it the first submarine ever to be deployed by Myanmar. If there are no technical problems, as Vice Admiral Prachachart Sirisawat, spokesman and deputy chief-of-staff of the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) speculated in early December, Myanmar could have put its newly acquired submarine into action in the Andaman Sea from Dec 24 last year.

13 Jan 2020 15
New subs sign of troubles to come?
6 Mar 2019

Futile sanctions

Hun Sen is still consolidating his grip over the People's Party, and Europe's attempt to challenge his position will be ineffective.

6 Mar 2019 3
Futile sanctions
3 Jan 2019

Curse of neutrality

While Cambodia still claims to adhere to the policy of 'permanent neutrality and non-alignment', its actions speak louder than words.

3 Jan 2019
Curse of neutrality
13 Aug 2018

Reluctant diplomacy

Japan - one of the most prominent democratic countries in Asia and a key aid donor - spoke up late on the recent election and should showing support for it.

13 Aug 2018 4
Reluctant diplomacy
21 Jul 2018

Pompeo's Vietnam model illogical for N Korea

During an official visit to Vietnam this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cited economic development of the country after the US-Vietnam normalisation as a model that may incentivise North Korea to implement a denuclearisation plan. The claims was only met with doubts.

21 Jul 2018 1
Pompeo's Vietnam model illogical for N Korea
22 Jun 2018

Indo-Pacific strategy

The name change from US Pacific Command to US Indo-Pacific Command is hotly debated, but is just a continuation of ex-president Obama's 'Asia rebalance'.

22 Jun 2018 1
Indo-Pacific strategy
19 May 2018

Why did a Malaysian buy 'The Phnom Penh Post'?

After the closure of the Cambodia Daily in September last year, The Phnom Penh Post practically became...

19 May 2018 2
Why did a Malaysian buy 'The Phnom Penh Post'?
2 Apr 2018

US-Cambodia standoff

Prime Minister Hun Sen has distanced himself from the West to show his 'vassal loyalty' to China in exchange for unconditional economic and political support.

2 Apr 2018 2
US-Cambodia standoff
22 Nov 2017

Sanctions won't work

Some say the coming sanctions will hasten the fall of Cambodian despot Hun Sen but in the short term they are unable to reverse his election victory.

22 Nov 2017 3
Sanctions won't work