Dissecting the 2018 Election in Malaysia: The End of Cronyism?

The key challenge of undoing six decades of cronyism, patronage and money politics was a central point highlighted during Asia Centre’s roundtable discussion on the Malaysian elections held in May 2018. Despite the political earthquake, the end of Barisan Nasional’s (BN) rule in Malaysia after 61 years and the defeat of former Prime Minister Najib’s government, fundamental change is not guaranteed.   All speakers at the roundtable, held on 22 June 2018 at Asia Centre, observed this critical point. It remains to be seen if the new government of Pakatan Harapan (PH) can usher out the politics of ‘money, race and…

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Asia Centre announces Malaysia branch

Asia Centre has initiated plans to establish a second branch in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The new branch will complement and extend the reach of programmes currently organized by Asia Centre Thailand in Bangkok. The announcement of Asia Centre Malaysia was made by Dr. James Gomez, Chairman, Board of Directors of Asia Centre, on the occasion of the Centre’s third anniversary in Bangkok. He noted that the timing for a second Centre in Malaysia is ripe, as the political developments in the country point to opportunities for more robust conversations. Johor Bahru was selected as the preferred location for the Centre’s second…

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Asia Centre recruits new talent at Webster University’s Career and Internship Fair

Asia Centre had the opportunity to showcase its internship programme at the annual Webster University Thailand Career and Internship Fair on 4 April 2018.     Asia Centre offers two forms of internship: Research, which focuses on researching and preparing evidence to inform reports, articles and conference papers; and Communications, which involves social media promotion, business planning, and creating marketing strategies. Both kinds of internship were met with enthusiasm, and several Webster University students submitted applications at the Fair. Further information on the programme, including the application form, is available here.    Students from the Master of Arts in International Relations…

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The Rohingya Crisis: Asia Centre Deliberates Solutions to the Crisis at Conference in Bangladesh

Asia Centre contributed to the search for solutions to the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar and Bangaldesh during the International Conference on the Rohingya Refugee Crisis: Towards Sustainable Solutions, held in Dhaka from 2-3 April 2018.   The conference revealed Bangladesh’s pressing search for assistance with the humanitarian crisis, its concern over the implications - economic, ecological, political and social - of hosting over one million Rohingya for the long term, and its search for durable solutions (e.g. safe repatriation), which ultimately lie in Myanmar.   In this context, Dr. Robin Ramcharan examined the role of ASEAN in the crisis. He…

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Third Annual Benedict Anderson Memorial Roundtable

In discussions on contemporary South-East Asian politics, a gap exists between the growing discourse on nationalism and national leadership and the gendered perspective on Benedict Anderson’s narrative on nationalism. To address this gap, a diverse and experienced panel, together with an audience of around 35 attendees, held a ‘conversation’ on multiple interconnected issues surrounding feminism, nationalist expression, political control, and women’s leadership in the post-modern political landscape.   The occasion was the annual Benedict Anderson Memorial Roundtable, held on 19 January 2018. Asia Centre hosts the annual Benedict Anderson Memorial Roundtable to honour the significance of the late professor’s contribution to…

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