Two Malaysian scholars will uncover the deep connections between international relations and maritime law as recipients of the first wave of the Malaysia-Australia Maritime Exchange Virtual Visiting Fellowships for 2022.
Funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Fellowships unlock future programs that promote research exchanges between Malaysia and The Australian National University (ANU).
Dr Tharishini Krishnan and Associate Professor Hazmi Rusli are this year’s first recipients and will further their research into the legality of foreign military activities in maritime highways like the Straits of Malacca and the Indonesian Archipelagic sea lanes.
Now Australia’s borders have reopened, their field of research will put them in front of leading researchers at ANU.
Krishnan will work to establish a single point of contact to combat maritime crimes in Malaysia, while Rusli will see how international law regulates the transport of nuclear substances by ocean.
“During the recent Operation Redback between the Australian Border Force (ABF) and Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), I’m seeing how these agencies work with other related agencies to share knowledge, expertise and intelligence,” Krishnan said.
“Also, I’m so thankful there is an institute that dedicates itself to study Malaysia and its cooperation and linkages with Australia in various fields of social sciences and humanities as an important part of Australian foreign policy and maritime policy.”
Rusli, who did his PhD at the University of Wollongong a decade ago, said the fellowships not only help open borders but also provide more opportunities for research networking and collaboration.
“I have long admired the dedication of Professor Donald Rothwell to all his work in the law of the sea. Finally, I have the opportunity not only to meet him, but for him to advise me on my research,” he said.
Krishnan, likewise, is looking forward to the experience.
“It is a dream come true for me to win this fellowship as I always wanted to engage with ANU in my career as an academic,” she said.
“ANU is a vibrant university that focuses in the field of maritime and also Indo-Pacific – an area that is my main focus in terms of teaching, writing and research. I feel a fellowship of this nature will help nurture young talent to have a progressive future as academics.”
Director of the ANU Malaysia Institute Dr Ross Tapsell said Dr Ross Tapsell said the ANU Malaysia Institute aims to help these scholars publish their work in international journals and other public policy forums.
"We look forward to working with these two exciting young Malaysian scholars in 2022, and for developing future programs in other fields which promote Malaysia-Australia relations in scholarly and student exchanges," he said.
The next call for applications – which includes PhD students - to the Malaysia-Australia Maritime Exchange Young Scholars Virtual Visiting Fellowships closes on 15 May 2022.
Photo: Visiting fellows Associate Professor Hazmi Rusli (left) Dr Tharishini Krishnan.