New Naratif is a movement for democracy, freedom of information, and freedom of expression in Southeast Asia. We aim to make Southeast Asians proud of our region, our shared culture, and our shared history. We fight for the dignity and freedom of the Southeast Asian people by building a community of people across the region to imagine and articulate a better Southeast Asia.

We do this by:

  • identifying, and conducting research on, important issues facing the people of Southeast Asia;
  • publishing in-depth evidence-based information about these issues, in a variety of accessible formats (research articles, journalism features, comics, podcasts, and videos) and languages (the languages of the people of Southeast Asia, including Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Melayu/Malaysia, Vietnamese, and Chinese);
  • empowering people to become fully engaged citizens of their communities; and
  • advocating for and modelling ethical, moral, and progressive values rooted in the Southeast Asian context.

For more information, visit our Hello! page.  If you’d like to write, draw, or record a video or podcast for us, please pitch us your idea.

The Team

Charis Loke

Charis is an illustrator based in Penang, Malaysia. Drawing upon literature and visual culture, she makes pictures that evoke wonder and curiosity. As a member of Arts-ED, she also works on community arts and culture education programmes for youth. Her work can be found at Charis is Comics Editor and Illustrations Editor for New Naratif. Reach her at

Deborah Augustin

Deborah Germaine Augustin is a Malaysian writer and researcher. Previously, she worked as a Parliamentary Assistant for the MP of Kelana Jaya. She is currently working on a cross-genre chapbook about immigration in the United States. She is New Naratif's Member Engagement Coordinator. Reach her at

Ellena Ekarahendy

Ellena is an art director, graphic designer, illustrator, and copywriter based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Her creative works revolve around social-cultural issues including human rights, gender justice, freedom of expressions, and media literacy. She's a chairperson of a workers’ collective, SINDIKASI (Media & Creative Workers Union for Democracy) which focuses on cognitive labor and digital economy discourses. As New Naratif’s Design Editor, you can reach her at

Kelly Anissa

Kelly Anissa is a journalist based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She is New Naratif’s Bahasa Melayu/Malaysia Editor. Previously, Kelly worked as a producer and presenter at BFM 89.9, a Malaysian radio station for current affairs. She has done work on a wide range of areas, covering environmental issues, policy and legal reforms in Malaysia, regional politics and health journalism. Outside of work, Kelly works on short films. You can reach her at

Kirsten Han

Kirsten Han is Editor-in-Chief of New Naratif, and a Singaporean journalist whose work often revolves around the themes of social justice, human rights, politics and democracy. Her bylines have appeared in publications like The Guardian, Foreign Policy, Asia Times and Waging Nonviolence. As an activist, Kirsten has advocated for an end to the death penalty in Singapore, and is a founding member of abolitionist group We Believe in Second Chances. Reach her at

Matt Surrusco

Matt Surrusco is New Naratif's Consulting Editor for Cambodia. Based in Phnom Penh since 2016, he's also a freelance reporter and journalism lecturer. Matt has reported from New York, Jerusalem and Phnom Penh, and has worked as a copy editor and youth development professional, empowering young people through journalism and community service. Reach him at

Chua Minxi

Minxi Chua is a Malaysian writer, editor, translator and researcher. She has studied and worked in Beijing, New York, Singapore, and Manchester; and, for much of this time, has been writing a novel on mental illness, the postcolonial Malaysian psyche, intergenerational female trauma, and chickens. She is New Naratif’s Operations Coordinator. Reach her at

Ranto Sibarani

Ranto Sibarani is a human rights lawyer based in Medan, Indonesia. He has worked for over 10 years on the management board of KontraS in North Sumatra, a commission for disappeared peoples and victims of violence. Experienced in social and humanitarian work, he has been active in the North Sumatra Provincial Legislature as an expert in the Law and Government Commission for the past five years. He’s currently completing his Masters thesis on the rejection of the death penalty in Indonesia. Email:

Sonny Liew

Sonny Liew's New York Times bestseller The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye is a winner of 3 Eisner Awards, and was the first graphic novel to win the Singapore Literature Prize. He was a recipient of the National Arts Council’s Young Artist Award in 2010, and his works include The Shadow Hero (with Gene Yang), Doctor Fate (with Paul Levitz) and Malinky Robot, along with titles for Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Disney Press and First Second Books. Born in Malaysia, he lives in Singapore.

Thum Ping Tjin

Thum Ping Tjin (“PJ”) is Managing Director of New Naratif and founding director of Project Southeast Asia, an interdisciplinary research centre on Southeast Asia at the University of Oxford. A Rhodes Scholar, Commonwealth Scholar, Olympic athlete, and the only Singaporean to swim the English Channel, his work centres on Southeast Asian governance and politics. His most recent work is Living with Myths in Singapore (Ethos: 2017, co-edited with Loh Kah Seng and Jack Chia). He is creator of “The History of Singapore” podcast, available on iTunes. Reach him at