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 2020

Protecting vulnerable Malaysians in crisis

With the lockdown extended at least through mid-April, the impact will be devastating for vulnerable families, with serious short- and long-term effects for the economy and the society itself. One positive in the past week has been the ongoing constructive discussion about how Malaysia can get through this unprecedented trying period. This article joins the...

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‘Forza’ for Malaysia: Harnessing social capital to combat Covid-19

Taken from malaysiakini.com With daily reports showing the serious spread of Covid-19, it is necessary to expand the discussion of potential solutions to the crisis. In the first of two pieces, I am focusing on how social capital can be a force to reduce the spread of the virus. I use the Italian word ‘forza’;...

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Dissolution: Bubar menjadi bubur?

Taken from malaysiakini.com Questions over whether to dissolve Malaysia’s parliament and call elections are at the heart of recent debates about the country’s future. They are affecting the current stability of the Muhyiddin Yassin government as there are sentiments among factions of the different parties, especially in Umno, that a new electoral outcome would improve...

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‘Old Malaysia’ triumphs for now

Taken from East Asia Forum Malaysia has experienced a dramatic political transition as conservative political parties return to government. The new Perikatan Nasional (National Alliance) coalition opportunistically used legal means to grab power, making Muhyiddin Yassin the country’s eighth prime minister allied with the 1MDB scandal-tainted United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and the Malaysian Islamic...

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Irony and opportunity in the power grab

Taken from malaysiakini.com History has long taught us that change is not a linear process. Reforming Malaysia was and is never going to be easy. A week ago, I wrote that a non-Pakatan Harapan coalition tied to Muafakat Nasional involving Umno and PAS would come to power through the backdoor. I did not predict or...

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Malaysia’s ‘prisoner’s political dilemma’: Choices ahead

Taken from malaysiakini.com After a day where the political showdown between interim Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim over Malaysia’s future came starkly into the open with both men holding press conferences stating different visions for government and leadership, the Agong faces what can be seen as the country’s prisoner’s dilemma....

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Dissecting developments in wake of Harapan gov’t demise

Taken from malaysiakini.com The last four days have been filled with political intrigue and uncertainty, as the contestation for power has led to the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government, the resignation and return of Dr Mahathir Mohamad to the prime minister position and greater momentum in calls for new elections. It is useful to...

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The day the Harapan government died

Taken from malaysiakini.com After the events of this weekend – the threats to leave the coalition in the presidential council meeting, followed by Bersatu, Warisan and Azmin Ali’s PKR camp openly joining forces with Umno and PAS – the coalition government that was elected to federal power in 2018 is over. E tu Bersatu? Pakatan...

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China’s response to the protests in Hong Kong speaks to how it’s engaging in the region as a whole

Interview with Désirée Meili of Asia Society Switzerland Désirée Meili: When did your fascination with Asia become clear? Bridget Welsh: I’m a third culture kid, which means that I often lived in societies that I was not from in terms of nationality. We traveled around a lot, as my father was a petroleum engineer, and one...

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