Professor Shakila Yacob

Professor Shakila Yacob

  • Professor
Jeffrey Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia


PhD, University of Reading; Master of the Arts, Western Michigan University; Bachelor of Arts with Honours, University of Malaya.


Professor Shakila Yacob, a former business history professor (1994-2022) and executive director at the International Institute of Public Policy and Management (INPUMA) from 2018 to 2021, has held key leadership roles at the University of Malaya. She has also held visiting scholar positions at universities in the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US), and more recently served as a visiting fellow at Phillipps-Universität Marburg.  Her research interests span business history, international business, comparative politics, and public policy, and are enriched by her multidisciplinary academic background across the three academic systems. As an experienced policy lab specialist and academic leader, Professor Shakila has led multi-stakeholder policy labs and pioneered immersive labs in diverse areas, including the internationalisation of higher education, technical and vocational education, solid waste management, refugee management, indigenous rights, and COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and refusal.

Research Interests

  • Business History and Trade
  • International Business
  • Comparative Government
  • Public Policy

Notable Publications


  1. Khadijah Md Khalid, Shakila Yacob, Sharifah Mariam Alhabshi [2020]. The Power of Deeds: The Untold Story of Abdul Kadir Shamsuddin. Kuala Lumpur: MPH Group Publishing.
  2. Shakila Yacob and Rosilawati Zainol [2015]. Sejarah dan Media Baharu, [History and the New Media]. Dewan Bahasa Pustaka. 
  3. Shakila Yacob [2008]. The United States and the Malaysian Economy. London: Routledge Curzon.
  4. Nicholas J. White and Shakila Yacob [forthcoming]. Becoming Malaysian: British Business and Malaysia’s New Economic Policy in the 1970s and 1980s, Taylor & Francis Group.
  5. Sharifah Mariam Alhabshi and Shakila Yacob [forthcoming]. The Handbook of Public Policy in Malaysia, University of Malaya Press.


Articles in academic indexed journals:

  1. Andrew Smith, Neveen Abdel Rahim, Shakila Yacob (forthcoming). Regulating The Rise of Islamic Banking and Finance 1963 to 2010: Divergence, Convergence, and the Road to Common Global Standards.
  2. Nee Nee Chan, Khang Wei Ong, Ching Sin Siau, Kai Wei Lee, Suat Cheng Peh, Shakila Yacob, Yook Chin Chia, Vei Ken Seow & Pei Boon Ooi [2022]. The lived experiences of a COVID-19 immunisation programme: vaccine hesitancy and vaccine refusal. BMC Public Health 22 (296).
  3. Shakila Yacob [2021]. PETRONAS, Oil Money, and Malaysia’s National Sovereignty, Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 94 (1): 119-144. doi:10.1353/ras.2021.0014.
  4. Ilango Karuppannan and Shakila Yacob [2020]. Malaysia-Indonesia Konfrontasi: The Struggle for Influence in the Middle East, Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 93 (1): 67-89. doi:10.1353/ras.2020.0016.
  5. Nahid, F., Gomez, E. T., & Shakila Yacob [2019]. Entrepreneurship, State–business Ties and Business Groups in Bangladesh. Journal of South Asian Development, 14(3): 367–390.
  6. Nicholas J. White, J.M. Barwise & Shakila Yacob [2019]. Economic Opportunity and Strategic Dilemma in Colonial Development: Britain, Japan, and Malaya’s Iron Ore, 1920s to 1950s. The International History Review. doi: 10.1080/07075332.2018.1561491
  7. Shakila Yacob [2018]. Rising of the Phoenix: Mitigating Political Risk through Knowledge Management - Behn, Meyer & Co., 1840-1959. Enterprise & Society, 19 (4): 946-78., doi: 10.1017/eso.2017.72P
  8. Shakila Yacob [2018]. Government, Business and Lobbyists: The Politics of Palm Oil in US-Malaysia Relations. International History Review, Vol. 44 (4): 909-30. doi: 10.1080/07075332.2018.1457556.
  9. Shakila Yacob [2012]. Trans-Generational Renewal as Managerial Succession: The Behn Meyer Story (1840-2000). Business History, Vol. 57 (7):1166-85.
  10. Shakila Yacob and Khadijah Md. Khalid [2012]. Adapt or Divest: The New Economic Policy and foreign businesses in Malaysia (1970-2000). Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History. Vol. 40 (3): 459-482.
  11. Khadijah Md. Khalid and Shakila Yacob [2012]. Managing Malaysia-Indonesia Relations in the Context of Democratisation: The Emergence of Non-state Actors. International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, Vol.12 (3): 355-87.
  12. Shakila Yacob and Nicholas White [2010]. The “unfinished business” of Malaysia’s decolonisation: the origins of the Guthrie Dawn Raid. Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 44 (5):919-60. doi:10.1017/S0026749X09990308



  1. Empowering the Landless for Political Stability: State Intervention in Malaysia's Palm Oil Agribusiness Sector for Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 138: Dynamics of Security, Phillipps-Universität Marburg, 27 June 2023.
  2. No Need to Be Poor: Unlocking the Potential of Palm Oil for Social Development in Malaysia at the Global Fat Resources: Connecting Themes, Approaches and Narratives, ca. 1850-2022 Final Workshop of the EURES Research Network University of Bergen, 23-24 May 2023. 
  3. Forests for Sale: Multinationals and Civil Society Oversight in the Palm Oil Agribusiness: A Case Study of Wilmar International at the Workshop on Climate Change and Business History. SwissRe - Centre for Global Dialogue, Zurich, 25-26 May 2023. 
  4. Public Opinion on Corruption in Malaysia: a policy talk approach during the COVID-19 pandemic at the KAPV 3rd International Conference on Current Issues and Public Value, Gyeongsang National University, Republic of Korea, 25 Mac. 2022.

Professional Associations

  1. Post-Colonial Business History Network (PCBH) is a scientific network project, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
  2. Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 138 “Dynamics of Security”, Phillipps-Universität Marburg funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
  3. External Associate, Department of Political Science, University of Punjab, Pakistan.