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 the University Sains Malaysia (USM) and the National University of Singapore (NUS). She has a double major degree in her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics from USM. She has accumulated 11 years of experience in research, project management and policy consultation. She is now heading the Socioeconomics and Statistics Programme of Penang Institute. Her recent studies are primarily in the areas of economic development, labour market analysis, and education economics. Wooi Leng was the Chief Researcher for the Penang state biennial report entitled Penang Economic and Development Report, published by Penang Institute for 2016, 2018 and 2020. She has also reviewed a book written by Sultan Nazrin Shah on Charting the Economy: Early 20th Century Malaya and Contemporary Malaysian Contrasts published in the Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (June 2020). One of her recent publications is The Future of Jobs and Education: The Role of STEM Uptake and Employability in Penang published by Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Japan (2021).

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

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.

Azmil Akil
Project Researcher

Azmil graduated from Universiti Malaysia Sabah with a Master of Economics and Bachelor of Economics (Human Resource Economics). His research interests include macroeconomics and financial economics.

Philip Khor

Philip is a data scientist with experience in machine learning model risk management, applied microeconometrics and technical writing. Previously, he has worked in banking, training delivery and software engineering. His research interests include labour and health economics, ethics of artificial intelligence and climate policy. He holds a first-class honors degree in Commerce, majoring in Economics from the University of Wollongong.