Our Story

Co-founded in 2016, Imagined Malaysia is a research organisation committed to calling to attention the alternative history of Malaysia and Southeast Asia. We have organised countless forums and dialogues, exhibitions, and published the annual IM Review in an effort to push historical discourse in Malaysia. We hope to participate in the effort of creating public awareness and education about the differing narratives and stories that may be omitted from the official/master history. This is to not only change our understanding of the nation’s history, but to deepen and evolve it to have a more inclusive and rich discourse.

The crucial point for us to organise this project is to address some of the present concerns regarding historical literacy in Malaysia. There is a lack of contestation in the perspective of historical events taking place at the current moment in the public sphere – whether in the form of writing, lectures or even debates. Hence, we wish to re-popularise interest in attaining knowledge by drawing means of what the region’s intellectual history has to offer. In the long run, we hope that this will be a platform that promotes the role of activist-historians in public education as well as a source of encouragement and inspiration for Malaysian youth to have a critical appreciation for history. 

The Team

Netusha Naidu is the co-founder of Imagined Malaysia. She recently completed an undergraduate degree in International Relations in University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, with a dissertation titled “‘Sly Civility’ and “The Lazy Malay: The Discursive Economy of British Colonial Power during the Pahang Civil War, 1891-1895”. Netusha has been awarded the Tunku Abdul Rahman Fund and is currently pursuing a MPhil in World History at the University of Cambridge.

Jeremy Lim, secretary and project coordinator for Imagined Malaysia, works on themes of political economy and capitalism in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. He is also a researcher at the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development and the Jeffrey Cheah Institute for Southeast Asia. His other interests include the international political thought of the left and democratic systems. Reach him at: jeremy@imagined.my

Dennis Ong is usually driven by his curiosity to venture out and learn about all things cultural and historical. During his free time, he goes out to photograph what fascinates him and anticipates the unexpected. Currently, he is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Visual Arts at University of Malaya. His interests besides history includes mysticism, cultural practices, and architecture of both ancient and modern times.

Charles Brophy is a graduate of political science and international relations. Charles is now more interested in the history of Southeast Asia, and particularly the development of capitalism, the history of political thought and movements of the left.

Samantha Ho is a writer and journalist with an interest in economics, development and inequality. Her curiosity in history stems not only from its importance in explaining patterns and changes, but because its varying narratives make for compelling stories. Samantha aims to tell these stories through her work in Imagined Malaysia and beyond.