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Malaysia is falling apart: people are struggling with hunger in their homes, their healthcare system is falling apart, their leaders are bickering amongst themselves, and their parliament is failing to hold those leaders accountable. How did a prosperous country end up in such dire straits? Lim Wei Jiet, a human rights lawyer, speaks to PJ Thum and Sean Francis Han (Wake Up, Singapore) about the ongoing humanitarian and political crises in Malaysia, how it happened, and where it might go. They also discuss lessons that Singapore can draw from this and how Singaporeans can help their Malaysian brothers and sisters.

This interview was recorded on 27 July 2021

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This episode is a collaboration with Wake Up, Singapore. You can find out more about them online on their websiteFacebook and Instagram.

Thum Ping Tjin (“PJ”) is Managing Director of New Naratif and a historian 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). Reach him at

Sean Francis Han is editor-in-chief at Wake Up Singapore, one of Singapore's largest alternative media platforms. He has worked with civil society groups such as Project X and The Online Citizen Asia, and is currently doing an MA in Literature and Philosophy at NUS. His current work seeks to bring theory and revolutionary ideas to everyone, through reading groups, talks and other media.