Political Studies Programme

What is Political Studies Programme?

The pragmatic adaptation of inherited institutions and concepts deines much of what is today’s governance and politics in Penang, and in Malaysia as a whole. We focus understanding in detail how the balancing between ethnicities and faiths and central power and local politics, has been evolving, and what it means for the future.

Who are the team members?

Dr. Wong Chin Huat, Head, Political Studies Programme
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 Studies Programme
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.

Ooi Kok Hin, Analyst, Political Studies Programme
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 Studies Programme
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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Penang Institute
10 Brown Road, 10350 Penang, Malaysia.
Tel : (604) 228 3306   |   Fax : (604) 226 7042
General enquiries : enquiry@penanginstitute.org