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The Asia New Zealand Foundation initiated the Postgraduate Research Award Programme in 1997 and has generously funded it since then

Chair of Malay Studies

Victoria University

The Chair of Malay Studies at Victoria University of Wellington was inaugurated in March 1996. In 2002, the Malay Studies programme joined the Asia:NZ - NZASIA Research Awards Scheme and provides scholarships to postgraduate students working on topics related to the Malay World.

Previous Winners


Winners in 2007 of Asia:NZ - NZASIA Research Awards and Malay Studies Scholarships

Rakhee Chatbar
Huyen Thi Thanh Do
Liangni (Sally) Liu
James To
Jason Young
Suriani Abdul Hamid
Wan Munira Binti Wan Jaafar
Ruth Mei Yun Lum




Rakhee ChatbarRakhee Chatbar

Rakhee Chatbar is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Geography at the University of Otago. Her thesis examines the use of Information and Communication Technologies for development in India, with a specific focus on Mission 2007, a nation-wide initiative aimed at bridging the digital divide between urban and rural India. Mission 2007 aims to establish 600,0000 knowledge centres in rural India and is designed to provide access to new technologies to communities to enable social development. Her research will focus on the development and use of this initiative within the state of Tamil Nadu. Rakhee received a research award of $4500, which will support her fieldwork in Tamil Nadu from November-March 2008.


Huyen Thi Thanh DoHuyen Thi Thanh Do

Huyen is working towards a Masters of Arts in Development Studies at the University of Auckland. Her research explores the challenges involved in ensuring ‘water for all’ in Vietnam. Specifically, she is investigating institutional changes towards recognising water as an economic good, and the interface between the alternative policy and traditional forms of water governance. She expects that the outcome of her research will have significant implications for Vietnam in the sense that it will inform the local government of institutional and developmental issues at the wake of commodification of water. Huyen has been awarded $2,000 to support her research in Vietnam.


Liangni (Sally) LiuLiangni (Sally) Liu

Liangni Liu is working on a PhD project entitled “Homeland on the Move - New Chinese Immigrants of New Zealand as Transnationals” in the School of Asian Studies, at the University of Auckland. Her research aims to develop a new paradigm to replace the traditional immigration-settlement model used for understanding the Chinese diaspora. It focuses on the transnationalism of New Zealand’s new Chinese immigrants, both as individuals and as members of a family unit. The research aims to explore the migration decision-making processes in migrants’ households, their settlement strategies, their mobility patterns and the motivations for their choices. She has been awarded $4,000 to conduct in-depth interviews with returned Chinese migrants in China.


James ToJames To

Recent years have seen a significant increase in the number of ethnic Chinese throughout the Pacific, facilitated by modern migration patterns, liberalised immigration and multicultural policies of receiving countries - particularly following trade, cultural and political relations with China and/or Taiwan. James’ project will examine and evaluate the relations that Beijing and Taipei have with the overseas Chinese diaspora in an age where security issues, ethnicity and extra-territorialism have become important factors in international relations. He has been awarded $4,500 towards the cost of fieldwork in the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Fiji and China.


Jason YoungJason Young

Jason is undertaking a PhD project exploring the evolution of Chinese institutions in the Political Science and International Relations Programme at Victoria University of Wellington. His research focuses on how government institutions are adapting to the changing conditions arising from the large scale internal migrations as a result of the growth of the market economy in China. Jason has been awarded $4,000 to support his fieldwork in China so that he can conduct interviews with bureaucrats, migrant workers and academics to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of institutional change in a transitional society.


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Malay Studies Scholarships 2007

Suriani Abdul HamidSuriani Abdul Hamid

Suriani is undertaking a PhD in marketing at Lincoln University. In her thesis she is examining and comparing how adolescents in New Zealand and Malaysia develop knowledge about over-the-counter medicines, and how the socialisation process influences their attitudes and behaviour towards the use of such medicines. Understanding this process is crucial due to the increasing trend towards self-care and the increasingly common usage of legal drugs amongst this age group. Suriani has been awarded $3,500 towards the costs of fieldwork at selected secondary schools in Peninsular Malaysia between January 2008 and March 2008.


Wan Munira Binti Wan JaafarWan Munira Binti Wan Jaafar

Munira is a PhD student in the School of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Canterbury. In her thesis she will study online networking, social capital and social integration among diverse on-line ethnic communities in Malaysia. Briefly, this research is designed to explore the contribution that on-line communities may be able to make to generating and maintaining social capital within Malaysian communities. It is hoped that the results from the study will provide useful information to social scientists charting online network patterns, policy makers who are looking at community integration and social integration theorists interested in social capital. More generally, the thesis will address questions about the future of information society/knowledge society in Malaysia. Munira has been awarded $4,500 towards the costs of fieldwork in Malaysia.

uth Mei Yun LumRuth Mei Yun Lum

Ruth is an MSc student in the School of Psychology at the Victoria University of Wellington. her thesis will be looking at the well-being of single-ethnic and dual-ethnic children and adolescents in Malaysia. She is interested in looking at the effects of ethnicity on national and self-identity, self-perceptions, self-esteem and perceived discrimination and how this in turn affects life satisfaction, attitudes towards other groups, school adjustment, anti social behaviour and bullying behaviour. Ruth will be collecting data from students in primary and secondary schools in Malaysia. She has been awarded $3,000 to help her conduct fieldwork in Malaysia.