A Rhodes Scholar, Commonwealth Scholar, award-winning student, Olympic athlete, and the only Singaporean to swim the English Channel, PJ attended Harvard at the age of 16 where he concentrated in East Asian Studies. After two and a half years in the Navy, he won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, where he read for a second Bachelor’s degree in Modern History and Politics. He later returned to Oxford as Commonwealth Scholar and completed a Doctorate in History. He has also been a Visiting Fellow at the International Institute of Asian Studies, Leiden University, and Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. His work centres on decolonisation in Southeast Asia, and its continuing impact on Southeast Asian governance and politics.
- Decolonisation and the Cold War in Southeast Asia
- The history of Singapore and Malaysia
- (with Loh Kah Seng and Jack Chia, eds.) Living with Myths in Singapore. Singapore: Ethos, 2017.
- ‘The Fundamental Issue is Anti-colonialism, Not Merger’: Singapore’s “Progressive Left”, Operation Coldstore, and the Creation of Malaysia. ARI Working Paper Series 211.
- “The New Normal is the Old Normal: Lessons from Singapore’s History of Dissent,” in Donald Low (ed.), Hard Choices: Challenging the Singapore Consensus. Singapore: NUS Press (2014).
- “Flesh and Bone Reunited As One Body: Singapore’s Chinese-Speaking and their Perspectives on Merger”, in Hong, Lysa and Poh, Soo Kai (eds.), The 1963 Operation Coldstore in Singapore: Commemorating 50 Years. Kuala Lumpur: Strategic Institute of Research and Development (2013).
- “Flesh and Bone Reunited As One Body: Singapore’s Chinese-Speaking and their Perspectives on Merger”, Chinese Southern Diaspora Studies Vol 5 (2011 – 12).
- “The Politics of Southeast Asian History,” IIAS Newsletter 62 (Winter 2012).
- “The Limitations of Monolingual History,” in Tarling, Nicholas (ed.), Studying Singapore’s Past: C.M. Turnbull and the History of Modern Singapore. Singapore: NUS Press, 2012: 1 – 18.
- “Constance Mary Turnbull, 1927-2008,” in Tarling, Nicholas (ed.), Studying Singapore’s Past: C.M. Turnbull and the History of Modern Singapore. Singapore: NUS Press, 2012: 98 – 120.
- “‘Living Buddha’: Chinese perspectives on David Marshall and his government, 1955-56”, Indonesia and the Malay World, Vol 38, Issue 113 (July 2011).
- “Chinese newspapers in Singapore, 1945 – 1963: Mediators of elite and popular tastes in culture and politics”, Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol 83, Part 1 (June 2010).
Selected papers may be downloaded at Academia.edu.