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.

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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.

Book Launch by Professor Wang Gungwu (and link to The Star writeup)

My book, ‘The Haze Problem in Southeast Asia: Palm Oil and Patronage’ was formally launched on 23 March 2016 at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya. It was launched together with another Routledge Malaysian Studies Series book, ‘Cosmopolitan Asia: Littoral Epistemologies of the Global South’, co-edited by Professor Sharmani Patricia Gabriel. We were very lucky to have Professor Wang Gungwu, the renowned International Relations scholar and historian, present to formally launch our books. Other speakers included Associate Professor Shanthi Tambiah, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Professor Terence Gomez, editor of the Routledge Malaysian Studies Series, Professor Emeritus Abdul Rahman Embong from UKM, and Dr Rory Padfield from UTM. The event was a great success, with Professor Wang a definite crowd-puller. I would like to humbly extend my deepest gratitude for all those involved in making this event a success. Thank you!

Please click here to read coverage of the event by The Star (published 3 April 2016).

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Reading Malaysia Forum, 4 February 2016

Update: A public forum was held on my book, “The Haze Problem in Southeast Asia: Palm Oil and Patronage” as part of the Faculty of Economics and Administration’s Reading Malaysia Series on 4th February 2016. The forum was chaired by Prof. Terence Gomez from UM, and two esteemed academics, Prof. Helen Nesadurai of Monash Malaysia and Dr Patrick O’Reilly of Crops for the Future gave their views on my books.

Continue reading

Talking ASEAN on “Tackling the Haze Issues in Southeast Asia: Domestic and Regional Approaches” on 11 November 2015 (Invited Speaker)

I was invited by the Habibie Centre to give a talk on “The Effectiveness of ASEAN’s Response in Resolving the Haze Problem” at ISEAS-Yusok Ishak Institute, Singapore on 11 November 2015.

Other distinguished speakers were Mr. Chua Chin Wei (formerly of Singapore Institute of International Affairs) who spoke on the cause and oimpact of haze, and Dr. Jonatan Lassa of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Affairs who spoke on domestic and regional approaches to tackling the issue.

I am sharing here the prezi of my lecture, and also a PDF of the post-event report by The Habibie Centre.