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.
Author Archive

Tough year for human rights in Southeast Asia

Taken from New Mandala In reflecting on developments in 2016, attention has centered on events in the West or the Middle East, Trump’s presidential victory or the brutality in Aleppo. But closer to home, Southeast Asia has experienced worrying trends that have undermined human rights and fostered division. Overall, 2016 was not a good year...

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A wrong turn in ASEAN’s arms race

Published on Feb 20, 2015 in  The Edge Review This week Malaysia hosts the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition, timed to coincide with the 9th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting. It may not sound exhilarating, but it means big business for Southeast Asia’s defence industry. This biennial exhibition has been around since 1991, and the...

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Dark clouds hovering over SEA democracy

Taken from Malaysiakini.com As 2013 draws to a close, it has not been a good year for democracy in South-East Asia. Recent news has riveted on the protests in Thailand, where those dissatisfied with the current leadership of Yingluck Shinawatra and her amnesty provisions have taken to the streets rather than opt for a solution...

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How in the World Did Myanmar Go From Dictatorship to Near Democracy Overnight?

Posted on Forbes.com Sometimes it’s the little things—small acts of courage or kindness—that change the world in a big way, writes Darlene Damm (@darlenedamm).   When I was studying at Stanford University in the late 1990s, there was a student debate on campus—should one choose a career saving the world, or “sell out” and better their own individual...

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Najib’s dilemma over selection of candidates

Taken from Malaysiakini.com As the political parties wrangle over the final slate of candidates, the issue of who will contest and where has become more important than ever. The reason is simple: the candidate factor matters in close races. Each side is hoping that their list will bring that extra something to the campaign, to...

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Obama’s victory of hope over hate

From Malaysiakini.com When the presidential election was finally called, the results confirmed what most people expected – Barack Obama was returned to office for another four years. It was not quite the nail-biter the media hyped it up to be, but there certainly were moments of uncertainty and anxiety on both sides. In terms of...

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Looking within: dominant party de-alignment in Malaysia and Singapore

From East Asia Forum Singapore and Malaysia have long been touted as success stories. There is much to acknowledge — rising incomes, steady economic growth, improvements in infrastructure, stability and cordial ethnic relations immediately come to mind. These changes have been accompanied by the dominance of one party politically: the People’s Action Party (PAP) in...

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Lessons from Julia Gillard

In Australia this week, Prime Minister Julia Gillard gave a fiery speech attacking the Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott, asking him to look in the mirror when he accesses sexism and misogyny.   Her speech has brought forth a series of exchanges being labeled the ‘misogyny wars’. While much of the debate has at its...

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United Front for Reforms in Myanmar

Published in The Straits Times – Sep 29, 2012. MYANMAR’S leaders have stepped out in step with each other this week to showcase the country’s reforms. President Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi have marked historic visits to the United States, as the parliamentary Speaker Thura Shwe Man visited Australia and Singapore....

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