Norshahril Saat

Dr Norshahril Saat
Senior Fellow
  • 0Coordinator0, 0Regional Social and Cultural Studies Programme0
  • 0Indonesia Studies Programme0
  • 0Malaysia Studies Programme0
Tel.
:
68704523
Research Interest
Government and politics of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, Contemporary Islamic thought and authority (ulama), Middle East influence in Southeast Asia and geopolitical implications, Theories in Comparative politics- State Capacity, Corporatism, and capture, Malay Heritage and Culture

Researcher’s Profile

In 2015, I was awarded a PhD in International, Political and Strategic Studies by the Australian National University (ANU). I received a BA (Hons) in Political Science and MA in Malay Studies from the National University of Singapore. I was a recipient of the following scholarships and awards: NUS MA Scholar (2008), Tun Dato’ Sir Cheng Lock Tan ISEAS MA Scholar (2008), MUIS PhD Scholar (2012), and Syed Isa Semait Scholar (2015). In 2017, the MOE-SSRC awarded me a grant to study the Singapore’s Islamic Studies Graduates. I am currently a member of the Editorial Committee for the journal SOJOURN. I also sit as volunteer in numerous advisory boards, including as the Chairman of Malay Heritage Foundation (MHF).

 

Current Research

  • Singapore’s Islamic Studies Graduates: Their Role and Impact in a plural society (Social Science Research Thematic Grant, Ministry of Education). Sep 2017- Aug 2020
  • Research in non-violent extremism: Competing Islamic ideologies and trend setters in Southeast Asia. 2020-2023
  • State Responses to Extremism in Post-Authoritarianism in Southeast Asia (In collaboration with GRIPS, Japan). 2019-2021
  • The future of Malay politics in post GE14 Malaysia. (Malaysia Studies Program) 2018-2020
  • Islamic Civil Society and Politics in Indonesia. Indonesia Studies Program. 2020-2021

 

Selected Publications

 

Books

  • Norshahril Saat. 2018. The State, Ulama and Islam in Indonesia and Malaysia. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. (Revised edition republished by ISEAS)
  • Norshahril Saat. 2018. Tradition and Islamic learning : Singaporean students in Al-Azhar. Singapore : ISEAS.
  • Norshahril Saat. 2015. Yusof Ishak : Singapore’s First President. Singapore: ISEAS Publishing.
  • Norshahril Saat. 2015. Faith, Authority and the Malays : The Ulama In Contemporary Singapore. Singapore : The Malay Heritage Foundation and Select Publishing.

 

Edited Books

  • Norshahril Saat and Ahmad Najib Burhani (ed). The New Santri : Challenges to Traditional Religious Authority in Indonesia. (Singapore : ISEAS, 2020)
  • Norshahril Saat and Azhar Ibrahim Alwee (ed). Alternative Voices in Muslim Southeast Asia : Discourse and Struggles (Singapore : ISEAS, 2020)
  • Zainul Abidin, Wan Hussin, and Norshahril (ed). 2019. Beyond Bicentennial : Perspectives on Malays. Singapore, World Scientific Press
  • Norshahril Saat. (ed). 2018. Islam in Southeast Asia : Negotiating Modernity. Singapore : ISEAS
  • Norshahril Saat (ed). Fulfilling the Trust : 50 years of shaping Muslim religious life in Singapore. Singapore : World Scientific Press and MUIS.
  • Zainul Abidin Rasheed and Norshahril Saat (ed). 2016. Majulah ! 50 Years of Malay/Muslim Community in Singapore. Singapore : World Scientific Press.

 

Monographs (6000-10 000 words)

  • Syafiq Hasyim and Norshahril Saat. 2020. Indonesia’s Ministry of Religious Affairs under Joko Widodo. Trends No 13. Singapore. ISEAS.
  • Terence Chong, Lee Hock Guan, Norshahril Saat and Serina Rahman. The 2017 Johor Survey : Selected Findings. Trends No 20. Singapore: ISEAS.
  • Norshahril Saat. 2017. Traditionalist Response to Wahhabi/Salafism in Batam. Trends, no 7. Singapore : ISEAS.
  • Norshahril Saat. 2017. Johor Remains The Bastion of Kaum Tua. Trends, no1. Singapore : ISEAS

 

Journal Articles

  • Norshahril Saat. 2019. Norshahril Saat. ‘Malay women leaders in Malaysia : The Unthinkable ?’ Hawwa : Journal of Women of the Middle East and Islamic World (2019) 1-25
  • Norshahril Saat. 2016. Theologians ‘moralising’ Indonesia ? The case of post-New Order Ulama Council of Indonesia (MUI). Asian Journal of Social Science 44, 546-570.
  • Norshahril Saat. 2016. Singapore beyond ethnicity : Rethinking the Group Representative Constituency Scheme. The Round Table. The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs.
  • Norshahril Saat. 2014. ‘The Ulama, Thought-Styles, and the Islamic state debate in contemporary Malaysia.’ Studia Islamika. Vol 21, no 1, 47-76
  • Norshahril Saat. 2012. ‘Countering Utopianism: Alatas and the resurgence of the 1970s’. Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs (RIMA) volume 46, no 1, 105-126.
  • Norshahril Saat. 2012. ‘Islamising Malayness: Ulama Discourse and Authority in Contemporary Malaysia’ In Contemporary Islam: Dynamics of Muslim Life. Volume 6 Number 2, 135-153, Springer. (Published Online: September 2011)

 

Book Chapters

  • Norshahril Saat. Colonialism and Studying the Malays. In Zainul Abidin, Wan Hussin, and Norshahril (ed), Beyond Bicentennial: Perspective on Malays. Singapore: World Scientific Press. Pp 3-20.
  • Norshahril Saat. 2020. “Rising Conservatism in the Singapore Malay-Muslim Community: Worrying Times Ahead? In Terence Chong (ed), Navigating Differences: Integration in Singapore. Singapore: ISEAS
  • Norshahril Saat. 2020. Mainstreaming Alternative Islamic Voices in Malaysia. In Norshahril Saat and Azhar Ibrahim (eds), Alternative Voice in Muslim Southeast Asia: Discourse and Struggles. Singapore: ISEAS
  • Norshahril Saat. 2020. The Politics of Islamic Discourse in Malaysia. In Norshahril Saat and Azhar Ibrahim (eds), Alternative Voice in Muslim Southeast Asia: Discourse and Struggles. Singapore: ISEAS
  • Norshahril Saat. 2019. Kelantan. PAS settles in on the balcony of Mecca. In Francis Hutchinson and Lee Hwok Aun. The Defeat of Barisan Nasional: Missed Signs or late surges? Singapore: ISEAS. Pp.342-364
  • Norshahril Saat. 2018. Singapore’s Multiculturalism: An asset for nation building, in Bilveer S and S Vasoo (ed). Critical Issues in Asset Building in Singapore’s development Singapore: World Scientific Press.
  • Norshahril Saat. 2018. Competing Discourses Among Malaysian Muftis: Still a Case of Arabization? In Norshahril Saat. (ed). 2018. Islam in Southeast Asia : Negotiating Modernity. Pp. 35-62. Singapore : ISEAS
  • Norshahril Saat. 2018. Johor and Traditionalist Islam: What This Means for Malaysia. In Southeast Asian Affairs 2018. (ed) Malcolm Cook and Daljit Singh, 187-200, Singapore: ISEAS.
  • Norshahril Saat. 2014. ‘‘Deviant’ Muslims: The Plight of Shias in Contemporary Malaysia’ in Religious Diversity in Muslim-Majority states in Southeast Asia: Areas of Toleration and conflict (ed) Bernhard Platzdasch and Johan Saravanamuttu, 359-278, Singapore: ISEAS.
  • Norshahril Saat. 2012. ‘Muslims and the Construction of the ‘Other’: Dominant responses towards alternative religious discourses in Contemporary Malay society’ in Pluralism in Malaysia and Singapore: Essays on Issues and Challenges (ed) Sharifah Zaleha Syed Hassan and Ong Puay Liu, 73-90. Selangor: University Kebangsaan Malaysia.
  • Norshahril Saat. 2010. The State Ulama and Religiosity: Rethinking Islamization of Contemporary Malaysia. In Secularization, Religion, and The State UTCP Booklet 17 (ed) Haneda Masashi, 131-141. Tokyo: The University of Tokyo Centre For Philosophy. (Indexed by Google Scholar: 3)
  • Norshahril Saat. 2010. Re-negotiating the Muslim Public Sphere: New Media and the re-construction of the Ulama’s Authority in Contemporary Malaysia’ In Portrayal of Islam in the Media (ed) Mazni et al, 191-209. Malaysia: USIM
  • Norshahril Saat. 2010. Rethinking The Islamization Agenda In Contemporary Malaysia: Bediuzaman Said Nursi’s Contribution to the Debate on Islam, Knowledge, And Development’. Knowledge, Faith, Morality And The Future Of Humanity. 375-387. Istanbul: Baski-Cilt. (Conference Publication)
  • Norshahril Saat. 2010. Towards A ‘Normative’ Islam: Globalised Islam And Its Implication On Local Traditions. Knowledge, Faith, Morality And The Future Of Humanity. 591-594. Istanbul: Baski-Cilt. (Conference Publication)

 

Book Reviews in Journals

  • Norshahril Saat. 2019. Book Review. Mahathir’s Islam: Mahathir Mohamad on Religion and Modernity in Malaysia. By Sven Schottmann. Sojourn. Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia. Vol 34. 2019
  • Norshahril Saat. 2019. Book review. Living Sharia: Law and Practice in Malaysia. By Timothy P Daniels. The United States of America: University of Washington Press. 2017. 280 pp. TRT World Research Centre.
  • Norshahril Saat. 2017. Book review. Hamka’s Great Story: A Master Writer’s Vision of Islam for Modern Indonesia. By James R Rush. Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2016. Xix+286pp. Sojourn. Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia Vol32, No 3 (2017). Pp754-756.
  • Norshahril Saat. 2017. Book Review. Rebranding Islam : Piety, Prosperity, and a self-help Guru. By James Hoesterey. Sojourn. Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia Vol32, No2. 2 (2017). Pp430-431.
  • Norshahril Saat. 2014. Book Review. Gender and Islam in Southeast Asia: Women’s Rights Movements, Religious Resurgence and Local Traditions. Edited by Susanne Schröter. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2013, 335. Sojourn. Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia Vol 29, No2 (2014) pp. 501-502.
  • Norshahril Saat. 2010. Book Review. Indonesia and the Muslim World: Islam and Secularism in the foreign Policy of Soeharto and beyond. By Anak Agung Bayu Perwita. Copenhagen: Nordic Institute of Asian Studies. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies Volume 41 Issue 3. Pp 558-560. October.

 

ISEAS Perspectives

  • Norshahril Saat, “The South Kalimantan Gubernatorial Election: Oligarchic, Bureaucratic, and Dangdut Politics,” ISEAS Perspective, No.7 2021, 28 January 2021.
  • Aninda Dewayanti and Norshahril Saat, “Islamic Organizations and Environmentalism in Indonesia,” ISEAS Perspective. No.117, 15 October 2020
  • Norshahril Saat. “Malaysia’s Bersatu Remains Split and Faces Uncertain Future,” ISEAS Perspective. No 57. 2 June 2020.
  • Norshahril Saat. “Covid-19: Challenges for Singapore Islamic Studies Graduates.” ISEAS Perspective. No 37. 29 April 2020.
  • Norshahril Saat and Aninda Dewayanti. “Jokowi’s management of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU): A New Order Approach. ISEAS Perspective. No 1. 3 January 2020.
  • Norshahril Saat and Siwage Dharma Negara. Jokowi’s Second-term priorities and challenges: An interview with Luhut B. Pandjaitan. ISEAS Perspective. No 86. 21 October 2019.
  • Norshahril Saat. The UMNO-PAS Unity Charter and its Impact. ISEAS Perspective. 15 October 2019.
  • Norshahril Saat. A Complicated Political Reality Awaits the Malays. ISEAS Perspectives. 21 May 2019.
  • Norshahril Saat and Fauzan Arif Roslee. Islamic Universities and Their Impact on Singapore Graduates. ISEAS Perspectives. 20 April 2019.
  • Norshahril Saat and Nur Diyana Zait. Al-Azhar University and the Strengths of Informal Learning on Singapore Graduates. ISEAS Perspective 2 April 2019
  • Norshahril Saat. The Implications of a Ma’ruf Amin Vice-Presidency in Indonesia. ISEAS Perspective 4 March 2019.
  • Norshahril Saat. UMNO Revival: Reaffirmation of Ideology or Reform? ISEAS Perspectives No 71. 15 November 2018.
  • Norshahril Saat. Will PAS Governments in Kelantan and Terengganu Push for Islamic Laws? ISEAS Perspective No 33. 25 June 2018.
  • Norshahril Saat. PAS’ Fate in Kelantan in 2018: A Repeat of 1978? ISEAS Perspective No 12. 1 March 2018.
  • ISEAS Researchers. Southeast Asia Outlook 2018, ISEAS Perspective No 1. 2 Jan 2018.
  • Norshahril Saat. Johor Survey 2017: Attitudes Towards Islam, Governance and The Sultan. 10 November 2017. ISEAS Perspective No 83.
  • Siwage Dharma Negara, Norshahril Saat and Jason Salim. A Chance for France: President Hollande’s 2017 Visit to Southeast Asia. 2 May 2017. ISEAS Perspective No 28.
  • Norshahril Saat. Malaysia Capitalizes on Saudi King Salman’s Visit. 8 March 2017. ISEAS Perspective No. 14 2017.
  • Norshahril Saat (co-authored with Daljit Singh, Malcolm Cook and Tang Siew Mun). 2017 Southeast Asia Outlook 2017. 2017. ISEAS Perspective No.1.
  • Norshahril Saat. 2016. Exclusivist Attitudes in Malaysian Islam Have Multifarious Roots. ISEAS Perspective No 39. 5 July 2016.
  • Norshahril Saat. 2015. UMNO General Assembly 2015: Najib’s Call for Unity and Loyalty is Hardly Enough. ISEAS Perspective No 72. 29 December 2015.
  • Norshahril Saat. 2015. Nahdlatul Ulama’s 33rd Congress: Ma’ruf Amin’s Rise and its Impact on Indonesia’s Traditionalist Islam. ISEAS Perspective No 48. 8 September 2015.
  • Norshahril Saat. 2015. The State and the Ulama: Comparing Indonesia and Malaysia. ISEAS Perspective No 11. 26 February 2015.

 

Opinion pieces and ISEAS Commentaries

  • Since 2011, he has also published 177 opinion and think pieces, including those in local newspapers such as the Straits Times, Berita Harian, Berita Mediacorp and Today; and international newspapers such as the South China Morning Post, Stars Insight, Channel News Asia, Canberra Times, Bangkok Post and the Jakarta Post.