Visit from University of Puget Sound, Washington State

On 11 January 2018, the Department of International and Strategic Studies received a visit from about 30 students and accompanying lecturers from the University of Puget Sound in Washington State, USA.  The group was visiting Malaysia as part of their 9-month field-trip around Asia.

As part of their field trip, the group was seeking to understand major social issues facing the societies where they visited, through engagement with local academics and also the community. For the Malaysian leg of the visit, topics of interest included Muslim feminism and the use of the headscarf in Malaysian and Malay society. As a Malaysian Muslim woman, I was invited to share with the group my personal views on both of these topics.


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UNESCO Forum of ASEAN National Bioethics Committees on Haze, 6-7 December 2017

I was recently invited to participate in a UNESCO Forum searching for transboundary haze solutions from a bioethical and sustainability science perspectives. This forum was a continuation from the National Bioethics Committee meetings held in respective countries beforehand (see here). The forum was held at Le Meridien Jakarta and had an impressive mix of participants, not only from academia, NGO and government sectors, but also many from community leaders and farmers directly involved and affected by practices on the ground.


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Public Lecture in conjunction with Study Visit from Universitas Abdurrab, Riau, 29 November 2017

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya received a delegation of 8 academic staff and 28 students from Universitas Abdurrab, a private university in Riau, Indonesia, on 29 December 2017. The delegation was headed by Dr. M. Saeri, Deputy Rector for Academic and Alumni Affairs. The students were from the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, majoring in international relations, communications and government.


As part of the study visit, a Public Lecture on the theme of Trasboundary Haze Governance was organized. I gave a presentation based on my book, “The Haze Problem in Southeast Asia: Palm Oil and Patronage” and Pak Alfajri, MIA, the Dean of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universitas Abdurrab, who is also interested in this topic, gave his own views on the subject with a presentation on “Riau Government Policies to Realize the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution Goals (2015-2016)”. Students in attendance engaged in an interesting discussion with the speakers after the presentation, before concluding their visit with a campus tour.

Environment Panel, US-ASEAN Conference on Legal Issues of Regional Importance 2017

The 2017 US-ASEAN Conference on Legal Issues of Regional Importance was held at Marina Mandarin, Singapore on 8-9 May. It was organised by the US Embassy in Singapore, The Asia Foundation and the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. I was invited to participate in the conference and speak on the Environment Panel about the Transboundary Haze as a case study of a regionally important legal issue.

The panel was led by Professor Koh Kheng Lian, Honorary Director of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law, Singapore. Prof Koh gave an extensive overview of the legal structure for environmental governance in ASEAN. The other panelist was Dr Jay Batongbacal, Director of the Institute for Maritime Affairs and the Law of the Sea, the Philippines. He spoke on the governance of maritime environmental issues, particularly focusing on illegal fishing and maritime sustainability in the region. It was an honour speaking on such an esteemed panel and being able to take part in an important academic discussion on the future of our region.

Keynote Speaker at ICSHGS 2017 and Public Lecture at Universitas Tamansiswa, Palembang

I was invited to be the Keynote Speaker at the International Conference of Social, Humanities, and Government Sciences (ICSHGS) 2017, organised by Universitas Tamansiswa, Palembang, Indonesia. The COnference was held alongside the annual meeting of Asosiasi Dosen Ilmu Pemerintahan Seluruh Indonesia (ADIPSI).

I presented a paper entitled “In Three Years We Would Have Solved This: Jokowi, ASEAN and Transboundary Haze”. This paper was also awarded best paper of the conference, and is due to be published in the ADIPSI journal, Jurnal Studi Penerintahan: Journal of Government and Politics later this year. The Prezi for the presentation can be found here. I also had the opportunity to present the same paper to a public audience at Universitas Tamansiswa. Continue reading

Public Lecture at ASEAN Studies Centre (30 November 2016)

I was invited by the ASEAN Studies Centre at Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta to give a public lecture on “The Environment and Political Economy in ASEAN: Haze, Indonesia and Beyond”. The talk largely covered issues discussed in my 2016 book, but also provided some new analysis of latest developments on the issue, including Singapore’s new Transboundary Haze Pollution Bill and recent efforts by Joko Widodo. The Prezi from the lecture can be found here.

Exhibition (de)Tour: The ‘Crime’ of Haze: The Politics of Land, Nature and Human Rights

I was invited by the Nanyang Technological University Centre for Contemporary Art to give a talk on the ‘crime’ of haze, as part of their Exhibition (de)Tour public talk series. This talk was scheduled in conjunction with (and to draw parallels to) an exhibition by Amar Kanwar currently on display at the CCA, entitled The Sovereign Forest, which offers a creative response to the understanding of crime, politics, human rights and ecology in the context of the village of Odisha in India. As a follow up to the talk, a series of workshops entitled “The Haze: An Enquiry” is onging at The Lab, in the CCA. Do contact the CCA if you are interested to join this research project.