ISSUES is Penang Institute’s series of discussion e-briefs analysing policy-relevant matters relating to Penang, Malaysia and the region. Initiated on 15 June 2017, the articles are generally written by researchers attached to the Institute. They are meant to stimulate public interest in the subjects discussed and contribute substantively towards better-informed fact-based decision-making in Malaysia, both in the public sector and the private sector. Feedback is welcome and can be sent to


2 Nov – Cashierless Technology at Grocery Stores: An Imminent Step towards Safer and Smarter Shopping in Penang

2 Nov – Strengthening Preventive Measures against Child Sexual Abuse in Malaysia

5 Oct – Stringent MM2H Requirements Mar Malaysia’s Record as Preferred Destination for Long-term Residence

23 Sep – Installing a Facial Recognition System at Penang Airport: A Necessary Step to Ease Travel Protocols

17 Aug – Policy Uncertainty Remains a Major Consideration for Businesses in Penang and Malaysia

27 July – Persevering towards Recovery for Penang’s Tourism Industry

28 June – Challenges and Opportunities for Penang’s Labour Market amid the Covid-19 Pandemic

24 June – Need for Speed: Survey Findings on Penang Internet Connectivity

22 June – Performance Sustained during Covid-19 Highlights Strong Fundamentals in Penang’s Trade in Goods

2 March – Survey on Attitudes to Covid-19 Vaccination in Penang

18 Feb – Strong Public Support for Revitalising Penang’s Ferry Vessels

16 Feb – Helping SMEs Rise to Challenges Posed by the Covid-19 Pandemic

15 Feb – Covid-19 Fuels Democratic Decline in Southeast Asia

6 Feb – Trend of Investments in Batu Kawan Industrial Park

20 Jan – Key Measures Identified for Strengthening STEM Interest among Students in Penang

16 Jan – Eradicating Child Marriages in Southeast Asia: Protecting Children, Challenging Cultural Exceptionalism


31 Dec – Sustainable Strategies based on Penang infrastructure Corporation’s Projects

23 May – Aiming for a Post-Covid-19 Recovery That Brings Resilience

14 May – Lessons from Southeast Asia’s Response to Covid-19

9 May – Evaluating the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) Project According to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

18 Apr – A Critical Time for Penang’s Fragile Creative Ecosystem

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

04 Apr – Penang Economic Outlook 2020: A Rough Year Ahead

03 Apr – Fighting Covid-19 with Collaboration and Connectivity in Medical Science and Information Technology

27 Mar – Smart City Technologies Take on Covid-19

17 Mar – Reducing Moral Hazards in Malaysia’s Public Healthcare System

25 Feb – Malaysia’s Northern States: Improving Competitive Advantages and Industrial Growth


2 Dec – On the Many Non-Economic Benefits of Flexible Work Arrangements

15 Nov – On the Many Economic Benefits of Flexible Work Arrangements

18 Oct – The Value of Private Member’s Bills in Parliament: A Process Comparison between Malaysia and the United Kingdom

2 Oct – A Proposal for Carbon Price-and-Rebate (CPR) in Malaysia

13 Sep – Penang: Becoming A Smart State

16 Aug – What’s Better than Curing a Disease? Preventing It

9 Aug – Recognising Malaysian Soft Power after May 9, 2018

5 Aug – Cut the Queue: A Basket of Solutions for Malaysian Hospitals

26 Jul – Realising Blue Economy Benefits in Penang

14 Jun – Ecotourism: A Sector where Sustainability is Everything

10 May – Synergy among Stakeholders is Key to the Sustainability of Cultural Tourism in Penang

26 Apr – Future-proofing Malaysia’s Health Workforce

12 Apr – Breaking Old Habits is Vital for Malaysia’s Mainstream Newspapers

15 Mar – Decentralisation is the Best Pro-Growth and Pro-Poor Economic Strategy for New Malaysia

22 Feb – The Future of Creative Industries in Penang

1 Feb – Making Food Hawking in Penang Sustainable


14 Dec – George Town Heritage Celebrations: Achievements and Reflections

5 Dec – The Role of Electricity, Transport, and a Carbon Tax in Strengthening Malaysia’s Climate Policy

30 Nov – Key Changes to Development Expenditure in Malaysia’s Budget 2019

9 Nov – Key Issues to Consider in Heritage Preservation

30 Oct – High Incidence of Judicial Errors in Capital Punishment Cases in Malaysia

28 Sep – An Alternative Model of Skim Peduli Sihat to Pool Risks for B40 Households

12 Sep – Can Batu Kawan Industrial Park be the Silicon Valley of the East?

28 Aug – Tracking Malaysia’s Development Expenditure in Federal Budgets from 2004 to 2018

16 Aug – Perbandingan Hukuman Hudud untuk Kesalahan Sariqah dan Hirabah di Brunei, Aceh, Kelantan dan Terengganu

7 June – Economic Success Requires Foresighted Demographic Measures

27 Apr – What Widens the Gender Pay Gap?

30 Mar – Fiqh al-Muwatanah (Fiqh of Citizenship): A New and Inclusive Islamic Approach for Multi-religious Societies

1 Feb – Tighter Collaboration Needed in Penang’s Skills Development Infrastructure

10 Jan – Whistle-blowing as an Islamic Imperative: Empowering Muslim Civil Society Towards Good Governance


05 Dec – Obesity in Malaysia: Unhealthy Eating is as Harmful as Smoking

22 Nov – Social Media Usage among Penangites: A Tool of Benefit or Distraction?

8 Nov – Penang’s Economy is Healthy and Strong, with Incomes Rising and Inequality Decreasing

24 Oct – Heritage Tourism in George Town: A Complicated and Always Controversial Issue

10 Oct – The Policing and Politics of the Malay Language

26 Sep – Reclaiming Penang’s Historical Role as a Prominent Literary Translation Hub

12 Sep – Logging in Ulu Muda Forest Reserve: Is Penang’s Water Security under Threat?

29 Aug – Penang’s Aquaculture Industry Holds Great Economic Potential

22 Aug – Chinese Property Projects in Southern Johor: Should We Be Concerned?

16 Aug – Sebatan di khalayak secara mandatori boleh menjadi trend nasional

16 Aug – Mandatory Public Whipping May Become a National Trend

9 Aug – Explaining Salaries and Wages Data: A Look through Penang’s Lens

1 Aug – Facing Climate Change Begins at Home

18 July – Time for Malaysian States to Introduce “Non-Constituency Seats” (NCSs)

11 July – Child Marriages in Malaysia: Reality, Resistance and Recourse

28 June – The Digital Free Trade Zone – A Path to Inclusive Growth?

15 June – The Skills Gap Remains Penang’s Big Challenge