This is my latest article on political change and why it can be so difficult. As much as we want change and expect change agents who champion the promise of political change to deliver on their reform promises, we are usually left disappointed. This article deals with the fact thatContinue reading
Category: Southeast Asia
Transnationalism and Chinese Diaspora’s struggle for identity in British Malaya
Malayan Chinese muted response to the Malayan Union proposal in 1946 which promised common citizenship rights and equal opportunity to non-Malays have not been sufficiently explained by existing literature. This article suggests that such muted response is due to the presence of Chinese transnationalism that diluted and diverted the community’sContinue reading
Issues in Malaysia’s public policy and administration: An Institutional Analysis
How does institutional quality dictate a bureaucracy’s ability to change? Should we see change as transformational? Or should we see change as incremental, one that takes place in small steps over time? Are institutional legacies great impediments to change? This is a newly released book that touches on various issuesContinue reading
The Myanmar Crisis and ASEAN’s role
This is a recent article I wrote for Critical Asian Studies. In the article I raise the point that any intervention in Myanmar should take careful note of the complexities of Myanmar’s political economy and the country’s institutional quality where democratic institutions are still at a nascent stage. ASEAN, specifically,Continue reading
A Covidian-age budget: Malaysia to announce its budget for 2021
Malaysia is set to announce its budget for 2021 this coming 6 November. How will the Malaysian budget look like? How different will this budget be compared to the pre-covid 19 budget statements. One certainty is that Malaysia’s budget deficit is set to breach its self-imposed limit of 5.5% ofContinue reading
Singapore election 2020: Is Singapore politics turning a new page?
Singapore opened its 14th parliamentary session recently. This came on the back of a general election held in early July. By any measure of democratic elections Singapore’s recent election is a thumping victory for the People’s Action Party (PAP) which has ruled the 700 square km island- state since 1959.Continue reading
Will the world economy recover from COVID-19?
The global economy is already in recession as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The conservative estimate is that the pandemic will cost the global economy at least some US$ 1 trillion dollars this year with the World Economic Forum estimating the world economy to grow by just 0.5 percentContinue reading
It is time the world takes crisis management seriously
No one, back in December 2019, would have thought that the Coronovirus flu that started in Wuhan, China, would have taken the devastating scale it is now exacting. The virus is paralysing national economies. Normal life has been greatly disturbed by a flu pandemic never seen in modern history. CountriesContinue reading
Re-energising Malaysia’s Public Sector
The World Bank has released a report on Malaysia ‘s public sector performance. In the report the Bank says that Malaysia’s civil service is doing better than most of its regional peers. However, the performance of the Malaysian civil service has plateaued from its peak in 2014 which, threatens theContinue reading
Political Change in Malaysia: Is there a way out?
I wrote this paper in 2016 when I spent some time as a visiting research fellow at the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore. The article talks about the possibility of political change in Malaysia. I gave a pessimistic view of political change in Malaysia. I still hold that view.Continue reading