Bridget Welsh is a Senior Research Associate at the Center for East Asia Democratic Studies of the National Taiwan University. She is based in Southeast Asia, where she works on Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Indonesia and other countries in the region. She is committed to engagement, fostering mutual understanding and empowerment.
Latest entries

A Visit to Hanoi

I cannot visit Vietnam without thinking about Hoa. Arriving at the airport makes me recall similar moments on route to see her in hospital or celebrate her life. The city itself brings back even more memories – of her favorite food, of the bustle in which she grew up, of laughter. It is over four...

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A Mountain to Climb

Published on Jan 02, 2015 in The Edge Review 2015 is a banner year for ASEAN as it takes the long-awaited leap towards integration. But obstacles to success remain formidable This is supposed to be a pivotal year for Southeast Asia as ASEAN approaches its stated aim of creating an integrated market and boosting regional...

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Finding hope for Malaysia in 2015

Taken from Malaysiakini.com Difficult is an understatement for the year Malaysia had in 2014. Today marks a new beginning, an opportunity for assessment and moving forward. With so many Malaysians suffering from bouts of despair with the national leadership on both sides of the political divide, I wanted to take an opportunity to share some...

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Democracy under siege

Published on Dec 12, 2014 in The Edge Review Column Between a military coup, killings, sedition charges, religious oppression, lawsuits and censorship, Southeast Asian nations took alarming steps backwards in 2014 It has, without question, been a hard year for democracy in Southeast Asia. The coup in Thailand in May is perhaps the most obvious...

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How UMNO lost its mojo

Published on Nov 28, 2014 in The Edge Review Column As Malaysia’s dominant political party held its 68th annual general assembly this week, the familiar rallying cries of imminent crisis and racial insecurity rang out again. The leadership tactic of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) from Dr Mahathir Mohamad onwards has been to foster...

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The summit of Myanmar’s ambitions

Published on Nov 14, 2014 in The Edge Review Column Posturing and positioning were high on the agenda for the host – and many guests – at this week’s East Asia Summit Myanmar has become a world stage, at least this week when leaders gathered in the capital, Naypyidaw, for ASEAN and East Asia Summit...

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PAS reactionaries strike back

Taken from Malaysiakini.com With emotional outbursts, walkouts and contradictory statements, PAS’ 60th muktamar last week was more of a confrontation rather than a celebration.With the PAS president referring to the Islamic party’s Pakatan Rakyat partners as “minor enemies” and its members who stood with ally PKR as “lackeys”, it has become evident that PAS under...

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Selangor a Pakatan Rakyat family fight

Taken from Malaysiakini.com The ongoing Selangor crisis has riveted the Malaysian public for weeks and called into question the ability of the opposition to govern as a coalition.From attacks on each other to sackings and perceived party betrayals, the Selangor crisis has revealed underlying tensions among Pakatan Rakyat partners and showcased the fierce competition for...

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Wong Ho Leng was a brave fighter

Taken from Malaysiakini.com For those who knew Bukit Assek assemblyperson Wong Ho Leng, the words ‘brave fighter’ come to mind. When he entered politics over 30 years ago, he joined at a time when being part of the opposition was unpopular.It was the economic boom years in Sibu, derived primarily from timber, and he chose...

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