New Naratif empowers Southeast Asians by giving them the information and tools to be fully engaged and participatory citizens.



Artists Respond: Hindsight Is 2020

Ten artists take us on a journey from virtual meeting rooms in Malaysia and Singapore to the streets of Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. They ponder the intensely personal impact of the pandemic and picture large-scale protests for democracy.
  • Yunroo
  • Sunny Go
  • Afif Slim
  • Julia Hannie
  • Stephani Soejono
  • Richard Mercado
  • Townsunder
  • Ollie
  • Pssyppl
  • Suppachai Vong

Building a Mentally Healthy Community

PJ Thum and Sean Francis Han (Wake Up Singapore) speak to Reetaza "Reetz" Chatterjee, the founder of "Your Head Lah!" about her own experiences with mental illness, her journey in figuring out her role in activism, and about the mental health landscape in Singapore.
  • New Naratif

“We Have to Hide Our Face”: Cambodia’s Eco-Activists Go Undercover

Environmental advocacy group Mother Nature Cambodia is known for their confrontational videos, with activists exposing crimes against nature. But with three members jailed, and others facing harassment, the group has decided to conceal their identities.
  • Ouch Sony
  • Matt Surrusco


How Discrimination Kills Gay Men in Singapore

Contrary to the Prime Minister's stated position of "Live and Let Live", cradle to grave discrimination in Singapore results in gay men being economically poorer and less healthy, and consequently leading shorter and more impoverished lives.
  • John Lee

Bridging the Divide in Migrant Worker Research

Identifying and acknowledging points of convergence and divergence could go a long way in enabling more collaborations between academics and NGOs when it comes to research into migrant worker issues.
  • Nicholas Harrigan

From Closet to Pride

Vietnamese artists like Truong Tan formed the vanguard of LGBTQ visibility in a country where “traditional customs” carry much weight.
  • Cristina Nualart

More Dangerous Than Nuclear War

Despite historical tolerance of different sexual orientations and gender identities, Indonesian politicians are using LGBTQ rights as a wedge issue in their power play.
  • Kate Walton

Lebih Berbahaya daripada Perang Nuklir

Meskipun memiliki sejarah toleransi terhadap orientasi seksual dan identitas gender yang berbeda, politisi Indonesia menggunakan hak LGBTQ sebagai isu utama dalam permainan kekuasaan mereka.
  • Kate Walton
  • Dewi Fitzpatrick

What is a New Naratif?

How did the name New Naratif come about? Our Managing Director Thum Ping Tjin shares its origin story.
  • Thum Ping Tjin

Malay in the Modern World

Singaporean cartoonist James Tan's unnamed fictional protagonist explores what it means to be a Malay in the modern world.
  • James Tan

The Duterte Playbook

The “War on Drugs” waged over a year now by Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte is not about addressing drug crime at all. It’s the use of violence for political control and it’s happened before—in Davao City.
  • Sol Iglesias
Members only

Why does Oxley Road Matter?

PJ Thum explains the contours of the dispute between the Lee family siblings and why Lee Kuan Yew's Oxley Road house matters so much to them.
  • Thum Ping Tjin

New Naratif—A Platform for Southeast Asia

New Naratif’s Editor-in-Chief Kirsten Han on why we need you to join us in creating space for Southeast Asia and Southeast Asians to speak for ourselves.
  • Kirsten Han

The Elected Presidency and the Political Economy of Race in Singapore

With Singapore’s first racially reserved Presidential election looming, historian Thum Ping Tjin observes that the government’s much vaunted “Chinese-Malay-Indian-Others” model of managing race has historically increased racial tension and strife. So why do they cling to it?
  • Thum Ping Tjin

Regardless of Race, Language or Religion...

Singapore’s long-cultivated image of being colour-blind meets its greatest challenger with the country’s first racially-predetermined presidential election.
  • Kirsten Han

Poor People Don’t Like Oats Either

How we imagine people—their capacities, values, and moral worth—shapes how we treat them. The myths, imaginations, and assumptions about poverty, wealth, welfare, and wellbeing in contemporary Singapore are important to confront because they affect how people are oriented to each other in society, how problems are defined and consequently how they are dealt with or overlooked.
  • Teo You Yenn

The Myth of the Malaysian Dream

Sabah and Sarawak’s long journey to autonomy is one which even its proponents say is doomed to failure.
  • Clarence Chua

Myths and Facts: Migrant Workers in Singapore

Singapore, as a society, is not able to properly comprehend, let alone address, the precise problems facing migrant workers, because of three pervasive myths about low-wage temporary migrant workers.
  • Charan Bal