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 (21)

Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund: An Emergency Populist Fund?

Lee Hwok-Aun

Hard questions must be asked of Malaysia’s depletion of workers’ hard-earned retirement savings. Was it justified to permissively sacrifice future income for present consumption? Did political interest thump economic analysis?

Bumiputeras vs ‘the Others’ in Malaysia’s 2022 Budget: Moral Outrage is Not Enough

Lee Hwok-Aun

The UMNO-Perikatan-governed Bumiputera agenda forges on, with a zealousness that, if unchecked, will spell trouble. But the critique must go beyond moral outrage at the ethnic disparities in the budget and grapple with real alternatives.

The Twelfth Malaysia Plan: Time for a Reset?

Lee Hwok-Aun

The 12th Malaysia Plan, a key planning document for the country's development, has been expedited through Parliament with no debate. The process of formulating the plan needs a reset.

Transforming Malaysia’s Elephant in The Room: Conflict, Consensus or Cop Out?

Lee Hwok-Aun

The growing demand for policies that promote participation and diversity reflect Malaysian society’s advancement and sophistication, and call for broadened attention to identity-based policies for Bumiputeras, indigenous groups, Indians, women and other beneficiaries, rather than abolition of ‘race-based’ policies.

The Covid-19 Recession: Rough Times for Young Malaysians

Lee Hwok-Aun|Kevin Zhang

The COVID-19 recession has compounded employment and income difficulties for Malaysia’s young workers. They experience higher unemployment and are more adversely impacted than other age groups in terms of wage decrease and under-employment. This has contributed to greater political restiveness among Malaysia’s youth.