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Penang Institute

PENANG INSTITUTE is one of Malaysia’s major think tank. Funded by the Penang state government, it was established in 1997 (as SERI, the Socio-economic and Environmental Research Institute), and underwent a name change in 2011 as part of a rebranding exercise to reflect the heightened ambitions of the state to secure Penang’s reputation as an intellectual hub and as the culture capital of the country, and to enhance Penang’s reputation in ASEAN and beyond. With the tagline “Making Ideas Work”, Penang Institute encourages bold and innovative thinking not only in academic disciplines but also through the support it gives to literature and culture by way of events such as book launches, public literature seminars; through participation in the annual George Town Literary Festival; through its public policy brief, ISSUES; and through its renown magazine Penang Monthly and the Penang Monthly Book Prize. More concretely. the Institute’s ambitions are the following: - To contribute towards making public policy-making in Penang and in Malaysia as informed and collaborative as possible; - To provide platforms for intellectual and professional exchanges on critical, current and strategic issues affecting Penang and its surrounding region; - To promote interest in Penang’s cultural activities, and specifically in literary pursuits; - To aid academic research in general through the maintenance of a research library. For these purposes, the Institute is built around six research programmes (Economic Studies; History and Heritage; Political Studies; Regional Studies; Social Science and Statistics; and Urban Studies); a branch in Kuala Lumpur (PI in KL); a publishing unit and a library. Also attached to us are the Penang Educaiton Council and the Youth Community Organiser Programme. The Institute also functions as the Secretariat for the Wu Lien Teh Society.
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