The Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy is an independent public policy research and advocacy organisation based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Who we are

We are an independent non-party think tank promoting a vision of health and social care based on accountability, transparency and the public interest. We are committed to a free market approach in the development of patient-centric and community-focused health and social sectors.

Our mission

We set out ideas and ground realities that will help improve and achieve a high quality health and social care system for people in Malaysia.

Our values

Our values guide how we approach our work:

  • independent
  • robust and evidence-based
  • open to collaboration and engagement
  • relevant, supportive but also challenging when necessary
  • taking ownership

What we do

We link research, analysis and policies with the people working on the front-lines of healthcare and social services. We believe this is the best way to inform effective policy-making at all levels. We work to support development of affordable, equitable and high quality care.

Our approach

Where other organisations and agencies might focus only one point of view, we help see all perspectives and work bringing them to the table. Our greatest value is not just our ability to connect the dots, we inform and generate debate.

We help develop and evaluate ideas and concepts, from initial proposals through to a fully developed strategy for project or programme of work. We assist to translate these ideas into action with recommendations for design and delivery.

We share what we learn, collaborate with others and help build individual and community skills and knowledge. We aim to make a difference and contribute to a healthier population.

Our independence

Independence is important. We pride ourselves on being trusted for the objectivity and independence of our work.

We recognise that to make the impact we seek, people must be confident in the objectivity of our research and analysis and our ability to speak up and tell truth to power.

improving health and social outcomes

Our Team


The Galen Centre team is made up of experienced staff and consultants, who are motivated by the belief that effective advocacy and communication are key to addressing the questions and challenges in fighting disease and responding effectively to social development challenges.

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Azrul Mohd Khalib

Chief Executive

With an education in genetics and public health policy, Azrul has worked as a health development programme specialist for more than 21 years. He has experience working on issues related to social welfare, public health,  HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, gender based violence, and humanitarian assistance.

Previous positions have been with the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS); International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF); United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)/ Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS); International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC).

He is a writer and was a columnist with two Malaysian publications, the Malay Mail and China Press. Azrul is currently a board member of the Centre to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4) based in Malaysia.


Gurkiret Kaur

Research Officer

Gurkiret is a Medical Bioscience graduate from Monash University Malaysia. Her passion for the medical field has led to her pursuing a career in the public health sector. She has worked in the cancer space as an intern at a cancer NGO advocating for access to holistic cancer care and building a well-integrated community. While working as a medical lab scientist at a Malaysian medical centre, she was part of the COVID team that ran RT-PCR tests for diagnostic purposes.


Dr. Navittra Gunasagaran

Research and Projects Officer

Navittra is a Medical Doctor, Disaster Preparedness Instructor, Health Promoter and Educator with a passion for health policy. With extensive experience working with multiple organizations and NGOs, she has developed expertise and works in the areas of non-communicable diseases (NCD), health accessibility, health inequalities, and health education. Navittra’s dedication to improving health outcomes is reflected in her work to address systemic issues, and she continues to drive meaningful change through her work. Navittra firmly believes that every member in healthcare is a key player in managing healthcare crises and by collaboratively taking shared responsibilities, she believes we can build a much resilient healthcare system.

Senior Fellows


Mitch Yusof

Mitch Yusof is the Co-founder and Executive Director for SEED Malaysia (the 1st Trans-led NGO in Malaysia), he is also the co-chair for The Asia and Pacific Transgender Network (APTN), a Regional non-profit organization, championing the health, legal and social rights of Trans people. He has over twenty years of social service volunteer experience and nine years of social service working experience in HIV and AIDS and SOGIE (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression).

Mitch has extensive experience with issues related to managing, monitoring and evaluating community-based programmes, and has successfully designed and executed many projects such as drop-in centers, peer-outreach programmes and para-counseling. He was instrumental in the drafting of program and budget proposals to the Malaysian AIDS Council, and in helping to set up outcome and performance indicators for those programmes.

He was also closely involved in the planning, implementation and reporting of Malaysia’s first Integrated Bio-Behavioural Surveillance Study for Female Sex Workers and Transgender Persons in 2009.


Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS, Cert Theology (Aust, Hons), MBBS (Mal), MRCP (UK), FRCP (Glasg), MSc Community Paediatrics (Ldn, distinction), is a Senior Consultant Paediatrician and Researcher. He served in the civil service for more than 35 years and was formerly Head of Paediatric Department at the Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun and Head of Clinical Research Centre in Ipoh, Malaysia.

He is active in research and has a long standing interest in children in the community, disability, family self-help groups, NGOs, child abuse, adolescents and disadvantaged & marginalised children (especially the Orang Asli/Indigenous People). He has assisted the Ministry of Health, Malaysia to revise the child health services and introduced a number of national programmes for children.

With his wife, he also offers spiritual direction and counselling. He is an active Child Advocate and is the recipient of the “Outstanding Asian Paediatrician Award” 2012 and “SENIA Advocacy Award” 2016.


Dr. June Choon

Dr June Choon is a lecturer and Health Economics researcher at the School of Pharmacy, Monash University Malaysia.

As a registered pharmacist, June has been actively involved in various researches in biopharmaceutics and bioequivalence studies for over 20 local pharmaceutical companies during her PhD. She sat on the Joint Ethics Committee of the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, USM-Hospital Lam Wah Ee on human clinical studies from 2008 – 2012.

June completed her BPharm(Hons) at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in 2006 and thereafter her PhD in 2012. She underwent training as a pharmacist at the country’s Centre for Infectious Diseases, Sungai Buloh Hospital from 2006 to 2007. June received her training in Health Economics at the University of York, UK.

She has researched in the field of economic evaluation and health technology assessment over a range of areas, including cardiovascular, psychiatry, oncology, and real-world evidence.

She also served in several advisory panels for pharmaceutical organizations. Together with the team in Monash, she has further established the Health Economics team in Monash School of Pharmacy as the leader in health economics in Malaysia and actively contributing to the future development of health economics research in Malaysia.


Dr. Zada Luvena Zainal Abidin

Dr. Zada Luvena Zainal Abidin has over ten years of experience as a doctor who has worked in the United Kingdom, West Africa, US and Germany. She received her medical education at the University of Liverpool and spent several years of surgical training and practicising medicine in hospitals across England. She did postgraduate studies, receiving an MRCS and specialisation in general surgery in Germany, in 2007 and 2011 respectively. While with the German humanitarian organisation, German Emergency Doctors, Dr. Zada served as the medical coordinator and surgeon at their hospital in Liberia. Being at the general surgical department in Hospital Kuala Lumpur for a number of years has given her exposure, and a keen focus and insight into the challenges faced by the Malaysian health care system.

Dr. Zada’s areas of interest include public health, universal health care and human rights. Today, she is pursuing a career pathway in family medicine and general practice.


Suan Ee Ong

Suan is a Senior Advisor at Research for Impact Singapore, a think-and-do tank focused on social, behavioural, health, and systems research and evaluation. She studied political science and international relations in Australia and France, and obtained her graduate degrees in public health from the National University of Singapore. She works on health systems and policy research with a focus on evidence synthesis, policy analysis, and qualitative methods.

She is also an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore.