Bridget Welsh is a Visiting Professor at John Cabot University, a Senior Research Associate at NTU, a Senior Associate Fellow THC and a University Fellow of CDU. She analyzes Southeast Asian politics, especially Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Indonesia. She is committed to engagement, fostering mutual understanding and empowerment.
Yearly archive 2011

Democracy is Shining in the Dark

Largely driven by ordinary citizens, often connected through the social media, Southeast Asia is experiencing important and substantive political change. In this year of the Arab Spring, attention has centered on developments in the Middle East. With street protests and elections, amidst violence, there is no question that the region has experienced a profound political...

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Thuy’s Dream

Sometimes in life, someone touches your spirit. It can come on unexpectedly and leave just as quickly. In recent years, one of those inspiring people was Hoa – a former student and friend who passed away in October 2010 of cancer. She was 27 years old. The story of her inspiriting life can be found...

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Remembering Hoa

In early October, I returned to Hanoi to celebrate the life of Hoa Tran. She would have been 27 on October 6th, but passed away one year ago from cancer. I had gotten to know Hoa well when she lived in my house during the last year or so of her medical treatment and as...

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Ten Years Later after 9-11: Need to Move On

Ten Years Later after 9-11: Need to Move On

Most Americans remember where they were on September 11th, 2001. I recall the day vividly. I had recently moved from New York City to Washington DC to teach at Johns Hopkins University – SAIS. I was teaching Malaysian politics when the first attack occurred. During the class break, I told the class that a plane...

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A New Singapore? Politics in the Wake of May GE

The extremely narrow – less than one percent – victory of PAP stalwart Dr Tony Tan for Singapore’s presidency is yet another marker of the political transformation sweeping the island republic. After the May 2011 polls secured the strongest opposition victory in history, with a win of a Group Representative Constituency and 40 percent of...

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People Power in Malaysia: Bersih Rally and Its Aftermath

Summary: Malaysia captured international headlines with the July 9 Bersih rally for clean and fair elections. However, it was not so much the rally itself—estimated to have included as many as 50,000 people—as it was the woeful mishandling of the event by authorities, involving the indiscriminate use of tear gas and the arrest of nearly...

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People Power in Malaysia: Bersih Rally and its Aftermath

From East-West Center Malaysia captured international headlines with the July 9 Bersih rally for clean and fair elections. However, it was not so much the rally itself—estimated to have included as many as 50,000 people—as it was the woeful mishandling of the event by authorities, involving the indiscriminate use of tear gas, and the arrest...

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Democracy Strikes Back: Lessons from Thailand

The landslide victory of Thailand’s Pheu Thai (PT) in Sunday’s parliamentary election reflects broader trends that are affecting South-East Asia, including Malaysia. The Thai people in a clear mandate signalled that they wanted better and fairer governance and overwhelmingly rejected the authoritarian rule of Abhisit Vejjajiva’s Democrat Party. It is important to understand that Abhisit...

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Soul Searching Singapore’s 2011 General Election

Summary: The effects of Singapore’s May 7th election are still being felt in this global city state. When the results came in, the incumbent People’s Action Party (PAP) had marked its worst performance since independence, losing 39.9% of the popular vote and a record six seats out of 87 in one of the country’s most...

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