Bridget Welsh is a Senior Research Associate at NTU, a Senior Associate Fellow of THC and a University Fellow of CDU. She is also an Honorary Research Associate at University of Nottingham Malaysia’s Asia Research Institute (UNARI). She analyzes Southeast Asian politics, especially Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Indonesia. She is committed to engagement and empowerment.
Yearly archive 2019

Finding the positive – Malaysia’s last decade, Pt II

Taken from malaysiakini.com If 2019 has been difficult, one can argue that it has been part of a broader, difficult trajectory that began in 2009 when Najib Abdul Razak de facto assumed leadership of Malaysia. While he would not become prime minister until 2011, the last decade was one where Malaysians broke from the past after the...

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Getting caught in the negative – Malaysia 2019, Pt I

Taken from malaysiakini.com By most accounts it has been a hard year for Malaysia politically. After a peaceful election full of hope in May last year, 2019 has brought to the surface the realities of governing a polarized country full of angry mobilized citizens with high expectations and very different visions of the country they...

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The turning of the tide in Tanjong Piai

Taken from malaysiakini.com The voters in Tanjong Piai delivered the worst loss for an incumbent government in a federal by-election in Malaysian history this weekend. It was also another first: this was the highest level of swing against Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his two tenures as prime minister in any election (including the reformasi swing...

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Jokowi 2.0: Indonesia amid US-China competition

Taken from The Diplomatwhere author Mercy Kuo regularly engages subject-matter experts, policy practitioners, and strategic thinkers across the globe for their diverse insights into U.S. Asia policy.  This conversation explores the priorities and personalities that will shape Indonesia during President Joko Widodo’s second term. Explain the rationale behind Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s decision to select political...

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Mission Possible? Tests in Tanjong Piai

Taken from malaysiakini.com The Nov 16 by-election in Tanjong Piai in Johor will provide two telling tests: the first is the level of public support for Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s leadership of Pakatan Harapan. This Bersatu seat was won from BN as a result of shifts of support across a variety of demographic markers – race,...

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The risks of a ‘backdoor’ government

Taken from malaysiakini.com The old adage ‘Where there is smoke, there is fire’ is apt. Over the last few months, rumours of backroom deals to restructure the composition of the government have intensified to the extent that they have been publicly addressed by political leaders. Discussion centres on a potential ‘backdoor’ government – a government...

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Can the PAS-Umno alliance win?

Taken from malaysiakini.com With great fanfare, the Islamist party PAS and Malay-nationalist party Umno joined forces officially this month to become a broader opposition force. Touting itself as a political alliance for ‘Malay unity’ to ‘protect Islam,’ long-standing enemies became brothers to fight against the governing Pakatan Harapan. On the surface, this move may appear...

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BJ Habibie, Indonesia’s renaissance leader

Taken from malaysiakini.com  Pak BJ Habibie, Indonesia’s third president from 1998-1999, passed away yesterday. He was 83. Born in Parepare in South Sulawesi, Habibie was a man who embodied the hopes and ambitions of Indonesia’s post-colonial generation. He won a scholarship to study aeronautical engineering in Germany. Through his hard work and dedication to his...

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A new arena awaits as Myanmar warms up for 2020 polls

Taken from The Straits Times The parties, voters and issues have undergone major changes since the last elections even if Aung San Suu Kyi remains the anchor of her party’s campaign While the election campaign has not officially started, it is clear that there is a reorientation in Myanmar politics towards next year’s polls. The...

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