Lee Hwok-Aun

Dr Lee Hwok-Aun is Senior Fellow of the Regional Economic Studies Programme, and Co-coordinator of the Malaysia Studies Programme at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. He was previously Senior Lecturer in development studies at the University of Malaya. He authored Affirmative Action in Malaysia and South Africa: Preference for Parity (Routledge, 2021), co-edited The Defeat of Barisan Nasional: Missed Signs or Late Surge? (ISEAS, 2019) and has written various ISEAS Perspective and Trends articles on Malaysia’s affirmative action, inequality, education and labour. He led an unprecedented field experiment on hiring discrimination, published as “Discrimination of high degrees: Race and graduate hiring in Malaysia” (Journal of the Asia-Pacific Economy, 2016).

Articles by Lee Hwok-Aun (27)

The Najib Verdict: Judges Made Their Mark, But Will It Last?

Lee Hwok-Aun

The Federal Court’s upholding of the conviction of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has restored confidence in the key national institution. But the country’s democracy faces stern challenges ahead.

The Implications of Najib Razak’s Jail Term

Francis E. Hutchinson|Lee Hwok-Aun

In this episode of Dialogues at Fulcrum, William Choong, Managing Editor of Fulcrum, talks to Francis Hutchinson and Lee Hwok Aun about the implications of the jailing of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. Dr Hutchinson and Dr Lee are the Coordinator and Co-coordinator of ISEAS’ Malaysia Studies Programme respectively.

Malaysia’s GE15: When Race-Based Policies Might Trump Rice-Bowl Promises

Lee Hwok-Aun

Months away from Malaysia’s general election, little separates the ruling coalition and the opposition in terms of ‘rice bowl’ economic policies. The vote winner lies elsewhere: Malays value general pledges on jobs and social services, but they are wary of parties that make no commitment to pro-Malay policies.

The ‘Malay Protector’ Debate: Spirited But Short on Substance

Lee Hwok-Aun

Half of all Malaysians and 81 per cent of Malays deem ‘Malay special rights and privileges’ a ‘core feature’ of Malaysian society. Many Malays are anxious about ‘fair competition’, but perhaps encouragingly from the perspective of reform, there are indications of openness to change.

Credit UMNO for the Rakyat’s Benefits? More Serious Accounting Needed

Kevin Zhang|Lee Hwok-Aun

UMNO and Prime Minister Ismail Sabri are hoping to take credit for recent announcements on hiking the minimum wage and allowing special withdrawals from retirement savings, but the devil is in the details.