Pingtjin Thum is a Singaporean historian, and founder and Managing Director of New Naratif, a movement for democracy, freedom of expression, and freedom of information in Southeast Asia. A former Olympic athlete, and the only Singaporean to swim the English Channel, PJ attended Harvard at the age of 16. After two and a half years in the Navy, he won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, where he read for a second Bachelor’s degree in Modern History and Politics. He later returned to Oxford as Commonwealth Scholar and completed a DPhil in History. He co-founded Project Southeast Asia, an interdisciplinary research cluster on Southeast Asia at Oxford. His academic work centres on decolonisation in Southeast Asia, and its continuing impact on Southeast Asian governance and politics. As civil rights activist, he and his colleagues have been abused, harassed, threatened, arrested, and jailed, but they remain undaunted and unbowed. He is also a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. His most recent published work is “Independence: The Further Stage of Colonialism in Singapore” in Barr and Rahim (eds.), The Limits of Authoritarian Governance in Singapore’s Developmental State (Palgrave, 2019).