Muhammad Suhail Bin Mohamed Yazid

PhD Candidate in History
Muhammad Suhail Bin Mohamed Yazid

I am a PhD Candidate in History from Trinity College. My college fully funds my doctoral studies, having named me the Prince of Wales Student. Before coming to the University of Cambridge, I studied at the National University of Singapore, where I attained a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (Highest Distinction) in History and a Master of Arts in Malay Studies. I then took up an appointment as a Research Associate at the Institute Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute).

My journey in learning has taught me to be curious about many things. With the benefit of supervision from Dr Iza Hussin, I hope that my PhD research will uncover new perspectives and cast suspicions on what we know about the modern political history of Singapore and Malaysia.

My PhD research examines the internationalist dimensions of nationalism in Singapore and Malaysia from the 1950s to the early 1970s. I ponder how ‘conservative’ Anglophile state actors from both ex-colonies could be thought of as ‘worldmakers’. By unpacking their creative deployment of nationalism and internationalism, I intend to foreground contradictions, inequalities and the compelling role of capital during the global age of decolonisation. My work also aims to better situate Singaporean and Malaysian nation-building projects within Global South initiatives to abolish hierarchies between states.

More broadly, my research interests cover the modern political history of Singapore and Malaysia; history of the Malay world; monarchies; history and political culture; postcolonialism; nationalism and nation-building; and modern Southeast Asia


Tags & Themes


Trinity College, Cambridge, UK, CB2 1TQ


Key publications

He who is made lord: Empire, class and race in postwar Singapore. Singapore: ISEAS Publishing; Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2023 (

'Singapore's first Malay minister: The political life of Abdul Hamid bin Jumat'. In Heritage, culture and society: Critical voices of young Malays. Edited by Azhar Ibrahim Alwee and Norshahril Saat, 36-61. Singapore: Malay Heritage Foundation, 2021.

'A Malay woman in the house: Recovering Sahorah Ahmat's legacy in Singapore's history'. In Beyond bicentennial: Perspectives on Malays. Edited by Zainul Abidin Rasheed, Norshahril Saat and Wan Hussin Zoohri, 613-37. Singapore: World Scientific, 2020 (

'Review of Aristocracy of Armed Talent by Samuel Ling Wei Chan', SOJOURN (Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia) 35, 2 (2020): 389–392 (