Covid-19 Publications

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Seldom have insights been as commonly experienced among pundits across the globe as the realisation that international relations, political narratives, and macro- and micro-economics will never be the same again, after Covid-19. Post-pandemic, acting rationally and boldly while looking the facts in the face will decide how well a society or a nation emerges out of the crisis. Assumedly, more pandemics will appear in the near future—alongside other disasters, be these man-made or natural.

Penang as a state appears to have handled the Covid-19 situation rather well so far, and Penangites have generally behaved rationally and supportively enough to make government measures sufficiently effective. But the struggle continues.

Although much of the critical dynamics that influence conditions in the state, especially in Economics (especially where the Manufacturing Sector and Tourism are concerned) are due to external forces, it is vital that Penang keeps itself up-to-date about its own conditions, and its own possibilities for action, in light of how the rest of the world is faring.

Penang Institute is doing its bit in various ways to contribute to the management of this crisis, one of which is to publish informed papers on the local situation and on how this relates to events and initiatives undertaken in other parts of the world.

Crisis Management

Data Snapshots:
Statistics of Covid-19 in Penang, Malaysia and ASEAN


11 June – Covid-19 Exit Strategies in East Asia: Choosing between a “Supress and Lift” Procedure and a Staggered Exit
By Dr. Choong Pui Yee


4 June – Environmental Policy Lessons to Learn From the Covid-19 Pandemic
By Dr. Negin Vaghefi


19 May – Covid-19 and Penang2030: Refining the Goals and Defining the Means
By Ooi Kee Beng


6 May – Penang Next Normal has to be a Whole-of-Society Effort
By Chow Kon Yeow (Chief Minister of Penang)


6 May – Transforming Tourism in Penang: Suggestions for the Short and the Long Term
By Lim Sok Swan, Yap Jo-Yee & Pan Yi Chieh


3 May – Guidelines for the Resumption of Workplace Operations Post-MCO
By Ong Siou Woon, Tan Zhi Xian, & Ar. Tan Bee Eu


16 Apr – Some Suggestions Regarding Penang’s Post-Covid-19 Economic Restart
By Timothy Choy, Yeong Pey Jung & Yap Jo-Yee


Hacking the Next Normal
By Ernest Mah Herh Sun


Covid-19: Fiscal Challenges Await All Governments
By Yap Jo-Yee


Fighting Covid-19 Helps Penang Take Charge of its Digital Future
By Ooi Kee Beng

Time to Dare Imagine the Best Possible New Normal
By Ooi Kee Beng (First published in The Edge Weekly, 26 April)


Tech solutions for the next normal
By Steven Sim

Crisis Assessments

14 July – A Spotlight on Migrant Workers in the Pandemic
By Braema Mathiaparanam


26 June – Reevaluating Southeast Asian Public Health Strategies in Preparation for a Second Wave of Covid-19 Infections
By Dr. Choong Pui Yee & Dr. Khor Swee Kheng


16 June – Covid-19 Hits the Heart of George Town: A Survey of the Economic Situation of Old Trades in the Historic City
By Lim Sok Swan


19 May – Covid-19: Impact on the Tourist Scuba Diving Industry in Malaysia
By Kenneth Tuttle Wilhelm (Guest Writer)


8 May – Covid-19: Impact on the Tertiary Education Sector in Malaysia
By Dr. Choong Pui Yee


4 May – Penang’s Cruise Tourism Industry: Surviving the Covid-19 Perfect Storm
By Jeffrey Chew (Chairman of Penang Port Commission 2019-2020)


1 May – Covid-19: Extensive Lifestyle Changes are on the Cards
By Tan Lii Inn


25 Apr – Domestic Violence and the Safety of Women during the Covid-19 Pandemic
By Yeong Pey Jung


19 Apr – The Heavy Impact of Covid-19 on the Agriculture Sector and the Food Supply Chain
By Negin Vaghefi


18 Apr – Planning the Economic Future of Penang beyond Covid-19
By Dato’ Seri Lee Kah Choon (Special Investment Advisor to the Chief Minister of Penang)


09 Apr – Targeted Support Needed to Keep Penang’s SMEs Afloat
By Timothy Choy, Yeong Pey Jung & Yap Jo-Yee


27 Mar – Securing Food Supply and Strengthening Social Resilience in Penang during the Covid-19 Crisis
By Penang Institute


27 May – Aiming for a Post-Covid-19 Recovery That Brings Resilience
By Dr. Ng Shin Wei (Penang Green Council, & Director of Global Policy Asia)


14 May – Lessons from Southeast Asia’s Responses to Covid-19
By Dr. Choong Pui Yee


18 Apr – A Critical Time for Penang’s Fragile Creative Ecosystem
By Pan Yi Chieh


09 Apr – The Covid-19 Disruption Highlights the Neglected Nature of Arts and Culture Sector in Malaysia
By Lim Sok Swan


04 Apr – Penang Economic Outlook 2020: A Rough Year Ahead
By Ong Wooi Leng


03 Apr – Fighting Covid-19 with Collaboration and Connectivity in Medical Science and Information Technology
By Tony Yeoh (CEO of Digital Penang)


27 Mar – Smart City Technologies Take on Covid-19
By Tan Lii Inn


3 Sept – Human Rights Derogation in Southeast Asian Countries during the Covid-19 Pandemic
By Braema Mathiaparanam


23 May – The Business and Economic Impact of Covid-19 on Penang’s Manufacturing Sector
By Ong Wooi Leng & Dr. Lee Siu Ming


30 Apr – Covid-19: Extra Support Needed for Refugees in Malaysia and the Region
By Braema Mathiaparanam

Penang Monthly

*These articles were first published on

One Man’s Food Waste Can be Another Man’s Meal
By Kristina Khoo-Rhodes


Malaysia’s Covid-19 Cases at A Glance
By Enzo Sim


Working Mums Struggle to Manage Movement Restrictions
By Emilia Ismail


Will the Market for Art Ever be the Same Again?
By Ooi Kok Chuen


A Malaysian Artist Under Lockdown in Italy
By Rebecca Duckett-Wilkinson


How Aware Are We?
By Enzo Sim


Managing Covid-19: A Brief International Perspective
By Judy Cheng-Hopkins (Former UN Assistant Secretary-General)


Nature Breathes Better as Covid-19 Keeps Humans Indoor
By Nursyazana Khidir Neoh 


Covid-19 and the Rohingya: Staying Home when One is Homeless
By Braema Mathiaparanam


Wu Lien-Teh: The Malayan who “Squashed the Curve” of the 1910 Pneumonic Plague
By Liew Chin Tong


Learning from the 1918 Penang Influenza Pandemic
By Wong Yee Tuan


The Art World in Quarantine
By Ooi Kok Chuen


Schools May Be Shut, but the Learning Continues
By Kristina Khoo


Journalists are Also Essential Workers during Times of Crisis
By Izzuddin Ramli


Poor Households Bear the Economic Brunt of Covid-19
By Yeong Pey Jung


Penang Lawan Covid-19 Off to A Strong Start
By Steven Sim Chee Keong


Ramadan in the Time of Covid-19
By Aliya Abd. Rahim


Running an Event in A Pandemic – Worse than Bungee Jumping but It Gets You Thinking About the Future of Meetings
By Yeoh Siew Hoon


What Next for Malaysia?
By Lee Kah Choon


Malaysia’s Fight Against Covid-19
By Melissa Chan & Enzo Sim


The Virus Blights the Art World
By Ooi Kok Chuen


How Wuhan Affects Our Economy
By Lee Kah Choon


Using technology during the MCO
By Steven Sim