Politics in Action 2023

Political updates from across Southeast Asia
Our annual Politics in Action forum features timely analysis of political affairs in six Southeast Asian countries, for an audience of scholars, students and the general public.

When: Tuesday 2 May & Wednesday 3 May 2023 (from 12pm each day)
Where: Online via Zoom (see links below) and livestreamed on our Facebook page.

Drawing on expertise from around the region, this annual public forum will feature timely analysis of political, social and economic developments in six Southeast Asian countries. The sessions are designed to be concise, making them ideal for a general audience. In this year's forum, we'll hear expert views from researchers on the ground in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Timor-Leste. Each of our country-specialists will present for 20 minutes, followed by a short Q&A.

Our exciting line-up of speakers includes:

Tuesday, 2 May, from 12pm:

  • Singapore - Walid Jumblatt Abdullah (Nanyang Technological University)
  • CambodiaSovinda Po (Royal University of Phnom Penh)
  • IndonesiaBivitri Susanti (Indonesia Jentera School of Law )

Wednesday 3 May, from 12pm:

  • ThailandSurachanee “Hammerli” Sriyai (Chiang Mai University)
  • Timor-Leste - João da Cruz Cardoso (Independent Dili-based researcher)
  • Philippines - Aries Arugay (University of the Philippines Diliman)

All videos recorded as part of Politics in Action 2023 will be made available for public viewing on our Facebook page and our YouTube channel after the event has concluded.


Day Time (AEST) Time
Country Presenter Links
2 May             
12.00pm 9.00am Singapore Walid Jumblatt Abdullah bit.ly/PIA_Singapore
2 May      
12.40pm 9.40am Cambodia Sovinda Po bit.ly/PIA_Cambodia
2 May
13.15pm 10.15am Indonesia Bivitri Susanti bit.ly/PIA_Indonesia
3 May
12.00pm 9.00am Thailand Surachanee Sriyai bit.ly/PIA_Thailand
3 May
12.40pm 9.40am Timor-Leste João da Cruz Cardoso bit.ly/PIA_Timor-Leste
3 May
13.15pm 10.15am Philippines Aries Arugay bit.ly/PIA_Philippines


The speakers

Walid Jumblatt Abdullah is an Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University’s Public Policy and Global Affairs program. He works on Southeast Asian politics, with a specific focus on Malaysia and Singapore. He is the author of Islam in a Secular State: Muslim Activism in Singapore, published by Amsterdam University Press in 2021. He is the host of Teh Tarik With Walid, an online show/podcast in which he interviews politicians and political influencers.

Sovinda Po is the Designated Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies of the Institute for International Studies and Public Policy, Royal University of Phnom Penh. His journal articles have appeared in Australian Journal of International Affairs, Asian Studies Review, Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, European Journal of East Asian Studies, Southeast Asian Affairs, Journal of Greater Mekong Studies, Explorations: A Graduate Student Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, and UC Occasional Paper Series. His op-eds have appeared in the Diplomat, East Asia Forum, New Mandala, the Interpreter, ASEANFocus, IPP Review and Australian Outlook.

Bivitri Susanti is a lecturer at the Indonesia Jentera School of Law and a prominent resource person on Indonesia’s legal development and rule of law issues. She co-founded the Indonesian Centre for Law & Policy Studies in 1998, which then established Hukumonline.com, Indonesia’s main online legal resource, in 2000, and Indonesia Jentera School of Law in 2010. Apart from her academic activities, Bivitri involves in law and political reform projects initiated by both government and non-governmental organizations. She is a regular columnist for Indonesia’s Kompas Newspaper as well as Tempo Magazine and writes opinions for various national and international media.

Dr Surachanee “Hammerli” Sriyai is a lecturer and Digital Governance Track Lead at the School of Public Policy, Chiang Mai University (SPP). She is also a co-founder of the Center for Democratic Innovation, Human Security, and Atrocity Prevention (DISAP) at the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University. Hammerli’s recent research interests include digital political communication—broadly defined—as her ongoing projects explore the impact of social media on protests in various contexts as well as monitoring its implications on the upcoming elections in Thailand. As a part of SPP’s Myanmar Reimagined Initiative, she became interested in the prospect of democratic governance in Myanmar in which federalism is being considered as an alternative institutional structure. Hammerli’s academic work appears in Journal of Human Rights, SOJOURN, and Critical Asian Studies; and occasionally, you can also find her poli-beauty contents on YouTube at Pretty Politics.

João da Cruz Cardoso is an independent analyst based in Dili, Timor-Leste. He has authored various research and articles on economic development, youth, urban planning and infrastructure development in Timor-Leste. His latest article ‘Probing the dilemma of the young people in Timor-Leste’ was published by the New Mandala in November 2022. Joao is a proud alumnus of the University of Hawai’i at Hilo and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the Fulbright Scholarship Program.

Aries A. Arugay is Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science, University of the Philippines-Diliman. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Asian Politics & Policy, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell and the Policy Studies Organization. Aries is also a fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies-Yusof-Ishak Institute (Singapore) where he manages the Philippine Studies Project. His research interests are comparative democratization, civil-military relations, social media, and strategic studies. Aries also co-organizes the Philippine Social Science Seminar Series (PhilS4) hosted by the sponsored by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, UP Diliman, and the City University of Hong Kong.