Dr Greg Lopez

Lecturer (Professional Practice)

About me

I am a lecturer at the Murdoch University Executive Education Centre. Prior to this role, I worked in various research and advocacy capacities with private consultancies, think tanks, and non-governmental organisations. I have extensive experience in the region, working on public policy issues involving economic and political reforms, and have undertaken in-depth research and analysis in these areas.

I have been educated both in Malaysia and Australia and hold a PhD in economics from the Australian National University. Broadly, my research interest is in understanding the interplay between state, society and markets in the region. More specifically, I am interested in the political economy and institutional arrangements of countries that are “stuck in the middle-income trap” in this region and Australia’s relationship with them.

I am also a fellow at the Asia Research Centre and a member of the Centre for Responsible Citizenship and Sustainability, both at Murdoch University’s School of Business and Governance in Perth, Western Australia. I also hold an ongoing visiting fellowship at the Department of Political and Social Change, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University.

Teaching area

This VIDEO gives insights into the work I do with EEC.

An important program that I am involved in (together with Chris Vas and Kathy Ings) is the customised Graduate Certificate in Business (specialising in Executive Leadership and Management) for three emergency services agencies in Western Australia. 

I also direct the Capstone Consultancy Project unit in the newly developed Executive Masters in Leadership, Strategy and Innovation. This VIDEO provides insights into the program and this VIDEO provides insights into the learning and teaching platform used in the Executive Masters in Leadership, Strategy and Innovation program. 

Research areas

Investigating the political, social and economic challenges faced by countries in the Indo-Pacific region (with specific focus on Southeast Asia, in particular Malaysia) that are experiencing the middle-income trap.

Investigating key public policy issues impacting Western Australia and its main trade and investment partners in the Indo-Pacific region (specifically Southeast Asia, in particular Malaysia).


Current projects

Research on the political and economic reforms in Malaysia.

Developing a set of case studies on key public policy and management issues that are of interest to key stakeholders in Western Australia.


Awards and grants

2015 ASPIRE Professional Development award
The Perth Convention Bureau’s Professional Development Awards are presented to academics and professional staff from Perth universities and are designed to assist in their personal and professional development with a view of bringing events to Perth.

Events and speaking engagements

Malaysia in 2016
2016 Australia-Singapore Relationship Conference: Services, Cities and Growth [pdf], Singapore, 25 July 2016

Intellectuals and Independent Thought in Malaysia
Project Southeast Asia 2016, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, 14-16 April 2016

Ungku Aziz and Syed Hussein Alatas – Different Types of Intellectuals RSIS Seminar, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore, 12 April 2016

Keynote address: Innovation led productivity: how do we get there? Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA Industrial Relations Conference, Perth, Australia, 22 April 2015

Professional and community service

I am regularly called on to provide guest lectures on governance issues (most often on corruption and navigating the political economy of selected Southeast Asian economies), the middle-income trap, and Malaysia.

I have a column with the Malay Mail Online and Forbes Asia where I articulate my thoughts primarily about Malaysia, but also on other issues related to the political economy of Southeast Asian economies.

I am also called on to peer review articles for several journals.

From June 2009 to May 2015, I was the Malaysia and Singapore section editor for New Mandala.



Lopez, G & Welsh, B. (eds), Regime Resilience in Malaysia and Singapore, SIRD Publication, Petaling Jaya. 2018. Read an interview my coeditor had about the book HERE.

Book chapters

Lopez G. & Welsh, B., “Introduction: Rethinking Regime Resilience in Malaysia and Singapore” in Lopez, G & Welsh, B. (eds), Regime Resilience in Malaysia and Singapore, SIRD Publication, Petaling Jaya. 2018.

Lopez G. & Mohamed Ariff, “Managing the Malaysian Economy After GE 2008″ in Lopez, G & Welsh, B. (eds), Regime Resilience in Malaysia and Singapore, SIRD Publication, Petaling Jaya. 2018.

Lopez G. & Welsh, B., “Conclusion: Regime Resilience in Malaysia and Singapore Ahead” in Lopez, G & Welsh, B. (eds), Regime Resilience in Malaysia and Singapore, SIRD Publication, Petaling Jaya. 2018.

Lopez, G. ‘Malaysia Economy’ in The Far East and Australasia 2017, Love, J. (Ed.) Routledge, Abingdon and New York, 2016.

Ariff, M. & Lopez, G, ‘The partial reformers: Malaysia’ in Draper, P, Alves, P & Sally, R. (eds) in The Political Economy of Trade Reform in Emerging Markets: Crisis or Opportunity, Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2009.

Ariff, M. & Lopez, G. ‘Outward FDI from Southeast Asia: The Malaysian Experience’ in Rajan, R.S, Kumar, R & Virgill, N. (eds) in New Dimensions of Economic Globalization: Surge of Outward Foreign Direct Investment from Asia, Hackensack, NJ: World Scientific, 2008.

Journal Articles

Lopez, G. “Radicals: Resistance and Protest in Colonial Malaya.” Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. 89 no. 1, 2016, pp. 159-162. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/ras.2016.0018.

Lopez, G, review of Malaysia’s Development Challenges – Graduating from the Middle, Hal Hill, Tham Siew Yean and Ragayah Haji Mat Zin (eds), Institutions and Economies, (6:2) July 2014.

Selected Blog Articles

Lopez, G. review of Sensing Singapore, Devadas Krishnadas, New Mandala, April 2014.

Lopez, G. review of Palace, Political Party and Power – A Story of the Socio-Political Development of Malay Kingship, Kobkua Suwannathat-Pian, New Mandala, September 2011.

Selected Media Articles

Lopez, G. Malaysian PM Najib Razak strengthens hold on power, Lowy Interpreter, May 2016.

Lopez, G. Malaysia’s Prime Minister: A dead man walking?, Forbes Asia, Aug 2015.

Lopez, G., Malaysia struggles to escape the middle-income trap, Asian Currents, June 2014.

Lopez, G., Moving away from the consociational model in Malaysia?, Aliran, January 2014.

Hoffstaedter, G. & Lopez, G., A tale of two coalitions: Malaysia heads to the polls, The Conversation, 3 May, 2013.

Hoffstaedter, G. & Lopez, G., Malaysia at (yet another) crossroads, The Drum, 1 April 2013.

Bosworth, M. & Lopez, G., Global, not Asian, focus is key to growth, Australian Financial Review, 29 November 2012.

Lopez, G. (2012) Malaysia’s next general elections shaping up to be a battle of the coalitions, Asian Currents [pdf] June/July 2012.

Hill, H. & Lopez, G., ASEAN economies on the slide?, East Asia Forum, 9 May 2009

Selected Reports

Contributed background paper on Malaysia for the Centre for Development and Enterprise (2013). Rethinking South Africa’s Labour Market – Lessons from Brazil, India and Malaysia, Centre for Development and Enterprise: Johannesburg.

Bosworth, M., Trewin, R., McCarty, A., Lopez, G. & Drake-Brockman, J. (2011). Services Diagnostic and Needs Assessment Study. ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Programme Phase II: Jakarta.

Contributed chapter on Malaysia for Transparency International, Global Corruption Report – Corruption and the Private Sector, 2009, Transparency International: Berlin.

Lopez, G. & Laan, T. (2008). Biofuels at What Cost? Government Support for Biodiesel in Malaysia. International Institute for Sustainable Development: Geneva.

Other Media Work

I occasionally provide commentary on political and economic developments in Malaysia and Singapore. I have also collected most of the articles I’ve written for the media at Thinking Allowed and Aloud.