History & Regional Studies Programme

What is History & Regional Studies Programme?

Penang’s impressive growth as a cultural and economic hub was fuelled by free trade. This regionality and globality came to define the character of this “Pearl of the Orient”, and its reputation is built on this history of entrepreneurship. As on of the region’s earliest modern cities, it exerted great influence over its immediate surroundings. We continue to study with great interest the dynamics of regional politics today, alongside how governance in Malaysia responds to world events.

Who are the team members?

Braema Mathi, Visiting Senior Research Fellow
Braema Mathi (Mathiaparanam) is currently a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at Penang Institute in Malaysia. Braema has worked as a teacher, a journalist, a researcher, and been a director of research and advocacy, director of programmes, head of corporate communications – with various organisations.

Frederik Paulus, Senior Fellow

Dr. Choong Pui Yee, Senior Analyst
Dr. Choong Pui Yee holds a MSc in Strategic Studies from Nanyang Technological University Singapore, and a Ph.D in Political Science from Monash University Malaysia. She was a Senior Analyst at the S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS). While doing her Ph.D, she also taught politics related subjects to undergraduates. Pui Yee’s research interests include Malaysia domestic politics and political mobilization of repressed groups. She has published her work in media outlets like TheStar, Malaysiakini, TodayOnline, StraitsTimes, as well as a few book chapters.

Mohd Izzuddin Ramli, Analyst
He received his master’s degree in Political Science from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). His current research interests include contemporary journalism issues and media literacy in Malaysia. He also writes as a columnist for a local news portal. His works, which comprise of commentaries on politics, media, and society, have appeared in Penang Monthly, New Naratif and Nikkei Asian Review. He has also been published in Media and Elections: Democratic Transition in Malaysia (2018). His latest publication is Melayu atau Kemelayuan: Menelusuri Sejarah Idea (2019), the translation of Anthony Milner’s The Malays (2008).

Nidhal bin Mujahid, Analyst
Graduated from International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) with a bachelor’s degree of Human Sciences in Political Sciences, his research interest includes the study of Muslim Diaspora in the 18th and 19th century and the relationship between culture and urbanization of Muslims in Penang. He writes occasionally about political Islam and subsequently reads about Malay issues.