Straight Talk Southeast Asia is a weekly podcast series that covers politics in Southeast Asia, analysing elections, conflict, political risk, governance and human rights. Along with dissecting the political muck, Bridget Welsh engages with those shaping politics and political narratives in the region.

This show is produced by Renegade Radio.


Published: 15 March 2023

Episode 6 - Killing Politicians for Hire in the Philippines

In this episode, Bridget discusses more on the recent political violence in the Philippines, from political assassinations to guns for hire. She speaks with Peter Kreuzer from the Peace Research Institute in Frankfurt as well as with Ross Tugade from Ateneo de Manila University, to share different perspectives on these issues.

Additional info:

Courtesy resignations won’t solve the Philippine National Police’s problems

Killing Politicians in the Philippines: Who, Where, When, and Why, PRIF Report 2/2022 

If You Can’t Beat Them, Kill Them. Fatal Violence Against Politicians in the Philippines, PRIF Report 2/2021

Published: 8 March 2023

Episode 5 - Ukraine War and Southeast Asia: Reluctance or Realism?

This episode looks at why Southeast governments have been reluctant to criticise Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Bridget Welsh is joined by regional scholars Ian Chong and Hoo Chiew Ping who offer different perspectives of responses and Russia’s influence in Southeast Asia.


Ian Chong is associate professor of political science at NUS and a non-resident fellow of Carnegie China.

Hoo Chiew Ping is a Senior Lecturer at Strategic Studies and International Relations at National University Malaysia (UKM).

Published: 1 March 2023

Episode 4 - Closing Down Democracy in Cambodia?

Cambodia has shut down its last independent media organization, VOD. Episode 4 discusses what this means for national politics and the impact on media with scholar Sophal Ear and human rights activist Sopheap Chak.


Sophal Ear is an associate professor and associate dean at Thunderbird School for Global Management, specializing on Cambodia and political economy of the region.

Sopheap Chak is the Executive Director for Cambodian Center for Human Rights.

Published: 22 February 2023

Episode 3 - Turning the Page in Southern Thailand Conflict?

With a new peace talk facilitator from Malaysia and Thailand’s national elections coming in May, there are new opportunities to address the protracted conflict in southern Thailand. Join Bridget Welsh and security expert Don Pathan discussing the conflict and obstacles ahead.


Don Pathan is an independent security and conflict analyst based in Thailand.

Published: 15 February 2023

Episode 2 - Working Inside-Outside Human Rights Southeast Asia

In the wake of annual reports on human rights, for this episode Bridget Welsh speaks to human rights activists, Phil Robertson and AICHR Chair Yuyun Wahyuningrum on the region’s human rights challenges and evolving strategies.


HE Yuyun Wahyuningrum is a human rights activist, chair of ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission of Human Rights (AICHR) and the representative from Indonesia.

Phil Robertson is the deputy director of Human Rights Watch.

Published: 8 February 2023

Episode 1 - Way Out of Crisis in Myanmar?

Three years on, Myanmar’s crisis is far from over. This episode discussed different dimensions of the crisis, and speaks with seasoned Myanmar journalist Thin Lei Win and Malaysia’s former Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah on what steps need to be taken to respond to the crisis.


YB Saifuddin Abdullah is the MP for Indera Mahkota and Malaysia’s former Foreign Minister from 2018-2020, 2021-2022.

Thin Lei Win is a Myanmar journalist who founded Kite Tales and Thin Ink, analysing food security and food systems globally.

Published: 7 February 2023

Introducing Straight Talk Southeast Asia

In this trailer episode, host Dr. Bridget Welsh introduces the premise of this show and what we will discuss every episode. It can range from news and current affairs within the Southeast Asian region, to issues on politics, governance, inequality, and more that we believe to be of the upmost importance if you want to be informed about Southeast Asia.

Keep up to date with the latest episode to be informed of the latest news, so we can understand this region, its nature, politics, and each other in the process as well. See you in the next episode!

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