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 2014

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...

Continue reading »

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...

Continue reading »

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...

Continue reading »

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...

Continue reading »

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...

Continue reading »

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...

Continue reading »

The core character of Malaysia seen at LCCT

Taken from Malaysiakini.com Today marks the closure of the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang. Opened in 2006, this no-frills terminal has seen multiple millions of passengers pass through its gates and helped to develop the tourism sector nationally and internationally. The LCCT became the main transfer point of the 40 million tourists visiting Malaysia,...

Continue reading »

One year after GE13, lost in sea of politicking

Taken from Malaysiakini.com Today marks the one year anniversary of the historic 13th general election. This election was pivotal in the country’s history as the incumbent BN coalition held onto power, with the opposition calls for ‘change’ unfulfilled.Scholars have highlighted the fundamental shifts in the power of Umno, the imbalance of the opposition parties, the...

Continue reading »

Obama’s Malaysia Test

Published on Project Syndicate KUALA LUMPUR – When Barack Obama lands in Malaysia this weekend, his two-day stopover will be the first visit by a US president since 1966. Unfortunately, human rights will probably not be on the agenda. Even as Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s government pursues yet another politically motivated case against opposition...

Continue reading »