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Hui Yun Cher

PhD Student
Discipline : ,

Coordonnées professionnelles

 PhD student

Discipline: History, Economics
Professional email:

Start of PhD - 2020/2021

Doctoral school - Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, Inalco (ED 265)

Supervisors - Elsa Lafaye de Micheaux and Mathieu Guérin

Thesis :

The strategies of mining companies in Malaysia: Competition, conflicts, and compromises towards a "sustainable mining development" (1906 - 2020)


Weighing on markets for over a decade, the rise of China has renewed mining investments in Southeast Asia, raising new political and ecological issues. In Malaysia, following the rapid expansion of bauxite mining on the east coast in the early 2010s, mining companies are confronted with new environmental demands (both regulatory and civil society) as well as local political expectations in a new geopolitical context. Foreign and local companies are therefore reorienting their strategies. The thesis studies to what extent such adaptation to constraints has in fact continued since the beginning of the twentieth century, across different political regimes, considering local, federal and global political actors. Can they be considered as compromising community well-being and nature conservation on the East Coast? At what level have the firms' (re)actions taken into account local and nature, and how would they meet the criteria for sustainable mining development? To answer these questions, we will rely on the analysis of archives, including official sources, private collections and newspapers, which will link competition, margins of action, ruptures and continuities in the constraints to which mining companies are subjected. Moreover, interviews with government officials, private shareholders, local leaders and community members will reinforce the analysis of the strategic orientation and dynamic relationships of firms under the pressures of profitability and resource sustainability. Through a multi-dimensional approach over a century of industrial history in Pahang and Terengganu, this thesis aims to place the mining sector within Malaysian capitalism, and within an ecological perspective.

Academic background :

2020 Diplôme Approfondi en Langue Française (DELF B2, DALF C1)

2019 Master 2 in Human and Social Sciences, in International Development Studies, Grenoble Alpes University

2015 Bachelor of Law, University of Malaya

Research activities


"The geopolitics of mining resources in Southeast Asia: the case of Malaysia", La Revue Diplomatique, "Southeast Asia: a geopolitical crossroads" issue 14, July 2021


"China's diplomacy negotiators in Southeast Asia: individual trajectories, business sphere and chamber cooperation" with Aymeric Mariette (UP, CASE, Paris), European Association of Southeast Asia (EUROSEAS) panel "Aiding Southeast Asia: Exploring further Chinese projection in Southeast Asia (2000-2022)", Paris, 28 June -1 July 2022

"Les enjeux de coopération institutionnelle de l'industrie minière entre Chine-ASEAN", scientific event of Inalco doctoral students "China in Southeast Asia: New methods, new strategies", Inalco, 20 May 2022

"(De)constructing of infrastructural network: the strategies of mining enterprises (1915-1945)", the Association of Asian Studies Conference panel "Tropical environment, imperial infrastructures and everyday technologies in Asia", Hawaii, 24-27 March 2021

"Defining and negotiating mineral resources in British Malaya: an analysis of institutional arrangement and economic competition (1896-1936)', 10th International Congress of the Association Française d'Économie Politique (AFEP): Ressources, Toulouse (online), 29 June-2 July 2021

"Strategies of foreign mining companies in British Malaya: competition, conflicts and compromise during the 1920s - 1930s', 14th NUS Graduate Forum on Southeast Asian Studies, National University of Singapore, Singapore (online) 12-16 July 2021

Organisation of scientific events

2022 Co-organiser of the scientific event of the doctoral students of Inalco, "China in Southeast Asia: New methods, new strategies", Inalco, 20 May 2022

2021 Assistant of the International Scientific Network "Extractive Industry at the Ecological Turn: new objects, new methods", Maison des Sciences de l'Homme de Bretagne (Rennes), 2021-2022


2021 Member of the organising committee of the scientific and cultural programme "Bintang Malam, a Malaysian night in Paris", Paris, October 2021


French (read, written, spoken) ;
English (read, written, spoken) ;

Mandarin (mother tongue) ;

Malay (mother tongue) ;

Hokkien (read, spoken);

Cantonese (read, spoken)

Centre Asie du Sud-Est (CASE)


Campus Condorcet

2 cours des humanités

93322 Aubervilliers Cedex

tél : 33 (0)1 88 12 01 98

Métro : Ligne 12, arrêt "Front Populaire"



Direction collégiale

Email collectif :[at]

Vanina Bouté

Véronique Degroot
Anne-Valérie Schweye

Annabel Vallard





Secrétariat général









Sophie Hénon - sophie.henon[at] 



Pierre Boccanfuso - pboccanfuso[at]