I am a historian having graduated from University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2013. A Singaporean, I did my undergraduate and post-graduate (Masters) education in NUS from 2000 to 2007. In 2007, I had the opportunity and luck to be offered a place in the University of Hawaii at Manoa's History Department to embark on my PhD studies on Cham history with Dr Leonard Andaya. I am always fascinated with the Cham in Vietnam and their relationship with Mainland and Maritime Southeast Asia ever since I read an old and battered copy of the Sejarah Melayu in the Central Library back in 2000. The story of the Raja Cempa was rather strange to me at that time. It had all these strange titles fr nobility such as "Pau" (Lord) and "Bia" (queen) and a peculiar story line. All this began my research on Cham culture and history which eventually culminated in me learning the Cham script to read the ancient Cham manuscripts in Vietnam with the famous Cham professor in Vietnam, Dr Thanh Phan. The research on the Cham basically brought me a wealth of regional and international experience as well; the Cham lived in other areas in Southeast Asia as well such as Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Europe and America as well so I had to go there and really see for myself how they maintain their identity through cultural and ritual practice and of course through the continued practice of reading the Cham manuscripts.
I continue to do research on Cham history and the Cham manuscripts but also have other academic interests as well such as developing Martial Arts as a field of study in Southeast Asia as well as understanding Southeast Asia from the perspective of Death and Dying. These are rich areas of inquiry where we can not only understand Southeast Asians better but also create new ideas and insights into the history and culture of the region.
My primary research interests are in the areas of the scholarship of teaching and learning, Asian history, World History and Pre-colonial and Colonial Southeast Asian history of both Mainland and Maritime Southeast Asia. A second area of interest is study and preservation of ancient Southeast Asian manuscripts and Martial Art studies. I am also involved in the coordination and planning of FASStrack Asia: the Summer School.
Modules that I have taught both as a lecturer and tutor in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies include: