Political & Social Analysis

What is Political & Social Analysis Section?

A diverse team of scholars trained in political science, economics, international relations, gender studies, psychology and forensic science, we work on various issues and concerns related to political institutions and socio-economic policies in Penang and Malaysia. Our current projects cover federalism, constituency redelineation, social welfare policies in Penang, marginalization of Indians in Penang, women participation in workforce and education policy. Our works are part of the larger efforts of the Multiculturalism@PI research group, which include colleagues from the History and Nusantara Studies, in examining the health and sustainability of multiculturalism in Malaysia and asking the pertinent question: are cultural pluralism, common/differentiated citizenship and national cohesion mutually compatible? The joint research projects under Multiculturalism@PI include the policing of and censorship in Malay language (including but beyond the Allah ban) and the Hudud debate.

Who are the team members?

Dr. Wong Chin Huat, Fellow & Head of Political and Social Analysis
A political scientist trained at University of Essex, Dr Wong currently leads the Federalism and Electoral System projects. His other research interests include party system, civil society, civil and political liberties, multiculturalism, and rational choice theory. He engages the public through trilingual political commentaries and civil society activism. 

Dr. Toh Kin Woon, Fellow, Political and Social Analysis
Dr Toh founded in 1998 the Socio-Economic and Environmental Research Institute (SERI), the forerunner of Penang Institute. An accomplished economist trained at University of Malaya and University of Leeds, he served Penang as a lawmaker and state minister from 1995-2008. His research interests centre on developmental state, inequality and education.

Yeong Pey Jung, Senior Analyst, Political and Social Analysis
She holds a Masters in Business from Swinburne University of Technology and a double degree in Arts (Psychology & Political Science) and Commerce (Economics) from University of Melbourne. Her main research work includes gender equality, minority marginalization and socio-economic issues in youth development. Other research interests include the Malaysia NEP, affirmative action in a welfare state, and the politics of international trade.

Ooi Kok Hin, Analyst, Political and Social Analysis
He graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Political Science and Philosophy. His research interests include political history and development in Southeast Asia, political Islam and most recently, political economy. He writes for The Malaysian Insider, Penang Monthly and New Mandala.

Nidhal Mujahid, Analyst, Political and Social Analysis
He graduated from International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) with a degree in Political Science. His research interest includes  the Politics of Sharia, Islam & Women Participation in Politics, and The Development of Islamic Movement in Southeast Asia. He  occasionally writes for Penang Monthly about  Penang culture and society.

Current projects

Malapportionment in the 2015 – 2016 Redelineation Exercises

Federalism in Malaysia – Design and Practice
The project aims to examine the health of federalism in Malaysia from its original design, studying division of power in eight functional domains and intergovernmental relations in seven case studies.

Electoral System and Constituency Redelineation
The project studies how malapportionment and gerrymandering may be reduced in the next redelineation exercise, in collaboration with the Bar in research on the 2003-2005 exercises and with Bersih in outreach.  

Explaining Women’s Labour Force Participation: A Case Study of Penang
The project aims to identify the gender gaps in the labour force in Penang, by education level, occupational group, age cohort and sociocultural background and propose remedies for stakeholders.

Socio-Economic Study of the Marginalised Indian Community in Penang, 2013-2014
A sequel to a 1998 research, the study seeks to examine the contemporary socio-economic conditions of the marginalised Indians in Penang, with the aim of developing feasible and effective action plans to improve their social wellbeing.

A Study of the Impact of Policy Initiatives of the Penang State Government
This study will analyse the effectiveness and the impact of two State Government policy initiatives – ‘A Cleaner Greener Penang – No Free Plastic Bag Day Campaign’ and the ‘Senior Citizens Appreciation Programme’ .  It also aims to capture the perspectives of Penangnites towards these policies.

Review and Enhancing Agenda Ekonomi Saksama  Pulau Pinang (AES)
This project aims to strengthen State policy and programmes on poverty alleviation by reviewing the current implementation of AES, its impact and propose enhancements.

Malay Youth: Where, what and who are they?
This project aims to map out Malay youths based on their socio-economic and political leanings. This is to demystify the notion that Malay youth can be simplistically categorised as just urban or rural as well as to find out what makes them tick?

» More Projects

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