Socioeconomics & Statistics Programme

Relying heavily on quantitative data, we identify and analyse the qualitative consequences of the many changes visited on a society that is as diverse and open as Penang’s has been, and is. Racial, gender, religious and demographic issues inform much of our studies, as do the income gap and the nature of social inequalities.

Who are the team members?

Ong Wooi Leng (王慧玲)

She holds two master’s degrees in Social Sciences (Economics) from University Sains Malaysia (USM) and the National University of Singapore (NUS). Prior to her admission at NUS, she had been involved in many socio-economics projects at Penang Institute. A few notable ones include public finance, economic trends and higher education studies. She was also engaged in tourism project with professors at USM. She actively publishes papers in academic journals and articles in Penang Monthly. Her research interest lies in industrial economics and consumer behaviours.

Yeong Pey Jung (杨佩蓉)
Research Projects Advisor and Senior Analyst (Socioeconomics & Statistics)

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.

Dr Negin Vaghefi (华宁静博士)
Senior Analyst

She holds Ph.D. in Environmental Economics and Master in Environmental Management from Universiti Putra Malaysia. She has a research background from academic experience. She had been involved in projects and research works at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), and Universiti Malaya (UM). Her research interests include environmental economics, climate change, sustainable development, green economics, social security, poverty and income inequality, System Dynamics modelling, and policy analysis.

Dr Lee Siu Ming (Currently on Sabbatical)
Senior Analyst

He holds a Ph.D. in Economics (specialisation in International Economics) from Universiti Sains Malaysia with scholarship from Yayasan Khazanah. He has experience in academic research, investment promotion and export promotion. His research interests include, but not limited to, international economics, business economics, applied macroeconomics, and policy analysis.

Ng Kar Yong (黄巧蓉)

She holds a Master Degree in Science (Statistics) and a Bachelor Degree in Applied Sciences (Applied Statistics) from the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). She had been a Research Assistant in School of Mathematical Sciences of USM. Her Master’s thesis was about “Statistical Modelling for Forecasting PM10 Concentrations in Peninsular Malaysia”

Frederik Paulus
Senior Fellow
Frederik holds a Masters in Finance from London Business School and a Masters in Economics from the University of Antwerp. Prior to Penang Institute, he had a 20-year career in financial services, with a specialisation in risk management and regulatory compliance. His research interests are the interplay between the financial sector and the real economy in an international context, the transmission mechanisms of fiscal and monetary policy and the role of the government in fostering a well-functioning market with fair outcomes. Further afield, he is fascinated by the rise of digital technology and its economic, social and political ramifications.