When Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim took office, even his own supporters doubted that he could tackle much-needed reforms. But they expected to see at least some of the changes he had promised during his years in opposition. Slightly more than a year into Anwar’s term, however, he has scant progress to show on any front.
Since taking office last summer, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet has shown some signs that he understands the country’s need for economic growth. But his moves on the economic front will mean little if Hun Manet remains as authoritarian as his father, longtime ruler Hun Sen, whose political system he inherited upon succeeding him.
In early December, Chinese maritime forces water-cannoned Philippine resupply vessels en route to the Second Thomas Shoal, a disputed land feature in the South China Sea that hosts a small Filipino military detachment. The clash was the latest in a series of incidents as the two countries maneuver for advantage in the disputed waters.