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Latest Updates

New Publication in Hawwa: Journal of Women of the Middle East & the Islamic World

My peer-reviewed article, entitled “Intimacy Under Surveillance: Illicit Sexuality, Moral Policing, and the State in Contemporary Malaysia”, has just been published in Hawwa: Journal of Women of the Middle East and the Islamic World. Based on long-term observations in two Syariah Courts in Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur and Kota Bharu), the article discusses the ways in …

New Appointment: Chercheur Postdoctoral at Centre Asie du Sud-Est (CASE), École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS)

This fall, I will be relocating to Paris for a one-year appointment at the Centre Asie du Sud-Est (CASE), École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), starting from 1st October 2020. At CASE, I will be working on a research project on Migrations & Intimité (Migrations & Intimacy), which will be an ethnographic exploration …

New Publication: “Polygamy in a Time of Pandemic: Hard Times Ahead”

New publication, “Polygamy in a Time of Pandemic: Hard Times Ahead”, published in Canopy Forum, the digital journal of the Center for the Study of Law & Religion at Emory University. This article is a reflection of how Malay polygamous marriages might experience further economic and emotional strains in this uncertain climate. Read here.

Research Themes

Halal Intimacy

The pursuit of love and intimacy “halal” (permissible) in the eyes of God, the state, and Malay adat (culture & traditions).

Cross-Border Marriage

Syariah-compliant elopements across the border to Southern Thailand.

Ethnography of Malaysian Syariah Courts

Marriage, divorce, and inheritance under the Malaysian Islamic Family Law.


n. When a man is married to two or more wives.

Moral Policing

Being intimate within limits: State-led moral surveillance in Malaysia, and the perils of moral transgressions.

The Malaysian Islamic Bureaucracy

The agents behind the nationwide bureaucratization of Islam in Malaysia today.

Love Magic & Sorcery

The politics of the supernatural, and the power struggle for love.

Where I work


From the bustling markets of Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah, to the halls of Kota Bharu’s Syariah Court.

Southern Thailand

Marriage tourism in Hat Yai & Songkhla. And the place for fantastic tom yum.

Kuala Lumpur

The beating heart of Malaysia. A productive site for a comparative fieldwork vis-à-vis Kelantan.

Negeri Sembilan

Up close and personal: The daily life of an anthropologist in a polygamous household.