School of Social Sciences | Universiti Sains Malaysia



Khoo Suet Leng 
Assoc. Professor, TPr, Dr.

Ph.D. (Dev. Studies) (Melbourne), MSc. (Urban & Regional Planning) (USM), BA. (Hons) (Geography) (USM), MMIP

Khoo Suet Leng is an Associate Professor in the Development Planning and Management Programme. She is a registered Town Planner with the Malaysian Board of Town Planners and corporate member in the Malaysian Institute of Planners. Before she joined USM, Suet Leng had a five-year stint working in the corporate sector.

Suet Leng's research interests are related to creative city/creative economy and urban heritage conservation. In 2015, she collaborated with Think City Sdn Bhd to prepare a baseline study of Penang’s creative and cultural sector. Suet Leng also worked with the University of Greenwich (through the Newton-Ungku Omar Grant) to study George Town World Heritage Site’s creative and cultural value chain. In 2018, Suet Leng received an international grant from the Sumitomo Foundation (Japan) where she visited the Creative City of Kanazawa for data collection. She is currently working on a project funded by the Korean National University of Cultural Heritage (under the UNESCO Chair Research Grant) to study Covid-19’s impact on George Town World Heritage Site.

Besides publishing in internationally acclaimed journals, she has written two research books. Suet Leng’s first book is on sustainable built heritage management for George Town World Heritage Site. Her second book with the title 'Creative City as an Urban Development Strategy: The Case of Selected Malaysian Cities' was recently published by Palgrave Macmillan.

She is currently Associate Editor for SN Social Sciences (Springer) (2020-2023). Her industry and professional appointments include: Consultative Panel member for George Town World Heritage Incorporated (2011-2015); Technical Advisory Panel member for Think City Sdn Bhd (since 2015); Committee member for the Malaysian Institute of Planners (Northern Branch) (2021-2023).

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publication Teaching Research Supervision
 Citations - 36  Undergraduate - 7  International - 0  Ph.D - 6
 h-index - 4  Postgraduate - 2  National - 9  Masters - 2
     University - 10  


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Tiun, L.T., Lee, L.W. & Khoo, S.L. (2011). Peluang dan Cabaran Golongan Orang Kurang Upaya (OKU) dalam Pasaran Pekerjaan. Kajian di Bahagian Utara Semenanjung Malaysia. Pulau Pinang: Unit Penyelidikan dan Pendidikan Asas, PPIP, Universiti Sains Malaysia.


Khoo, S.L., Samat, N., Badarulzaman, N. & Dawood, S.R.S. (2013). Penang Towards Becoming A Creative City: Challenges Faced by the Architectural Industry in International Journal of Environment, Society and Space, 1 (1), pp. 1-11.

Khoo, S.L.,Samat, N., Badarulzaman, N., Sirat, M. & Dawood, S.R.S. (2013). Spatial Mapping of Creative Industries in Creative Cities: The Case of Penang, Malaysia in Humanities and Social Sciences Review, 2 (2), pp. 151-169.

Tiun, L.T. and Khoo, S.L. (2013). Challenges Faced by PWDs in Accessing Tourism Facilities in Malaysia in Social Welfare Journal (Jurnal Kebajikan Masyarakat), 39, pp. 27-40.

Khoo, S.L., Tiun, L. T. & Lee, L.W. (2013). Workplace Discrimination Against Malaysians with Disabilities: Living With It or Fighting Against It? in Disability Studies Quarterly, 3 (3).

Ch'ng, K.S., Khoo, S.L. & Chin, P.N. (2013). The effects of cultural and historical information and contribution threshold on public contributions: an experimental study on the conservation of heritage houses in Penang, Malaysia in Journal of Cultural Economics. (DOI 10.1007/s10824-013-9206-x)

Khoo, S.L., Tiun, L.T. & Lee, L.W. (2013). Unseen Challenges, Unheard Voices, Unspoken Desires: Experiences of Employment of Malaysians with Physical Disabilities in Kajian Malaysia (Journal of Malaysian Studies), 31(1), pp. 37-56.

Ch'ng, K.S., Khoo, S.L. & Lim, Y.M. (2013). Preference information and experimental heritage conservation auctions in Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, 3 (1), pp. 82-94.

Tiun, L.T. & Khoo, S.L. (2013). Challenges Faced by Malaysians with Disabilities in the World of Employments in Disability, CBR and Inclusive Development, 24(1), pp. 6-21.

Khoo, S.L. (2012). Making Competition Irrelevant in Blue Oceans: Human Resource Challenges in Malaysia Banks in International Journal of Business and Management Studies, 1(2), pp. 493-502.

Khoo, S.L. (2012, Autumn). What Does the New Economy Mean to Malaysian Tellers? in Just Labour: A Canadian Journal of Work and Society, 19, pp. 47-57.

Khoo, S.L., Tiun, L.T. and Lee, L.W. (2012). The Role of the State Towards Employability of Malaysian PWDs - Myth or Reality? in International Journal of Social, Management, Economics and Business Engineering, 6(6), pp. 255-260.

Khoo, S.L. (2012). From Tellers to Sellers to Thinkers: The Case of Malaysian Banks in Journal of Human Capital Development, 5 (1), pp. 117-140.

Tiun, L.T., Lee, L.W. & Khoo, S.L. (2011). Employment of People with Disabilities in the Northern States of Peninsular Malaysia: Employers' Perspective in Disability, CBR and Inclusive Development, 22 (1), pp. 79-94.


Khoo, S.L. (2009). Does Malaysia's 'uniqueness' once again prevail in this Global Financial Crisis? in PASI News & Views newsletter, School of Philosophy, Anthropology & Social Inquiry (PASI), The University of Melbourne, Issue 7: November 23, 2009, pp. 13-14.

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SBU 232: EDUCATION, TRAINING AND HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT (Bahasa Malaysia)(Semester II, 2010/2011)(on-going)


SBW 301: PROJECT PLANNING & MANAGEMENT (on-going)(co-teach with Zahri Hamat)


SKW 101: INTRODUCTION TO DEVELOPMENT PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT (co-teach with Nor Malina Malek and Zahri Hamat)


SBU 210: URBAN DEVELOPMENT (Semester 1, 2014/2015 onwards)

SBU 201: RURAL DEVELOPMENT (Semester 2, 2014/2015 onwards)


SDA 591: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY (Semester I & II, 2010/2011)(co-teach with Lye Tuck-Po and Azmil Tayeb)


24 August 2010: Guest lecture at School of Housing, Building and Planning, USM. (Title of lecture: 'Skills, Labour and Training in the New Economy')


11 October 2011: Guest lecture at School of Housing, Building and Planning, USM. (Title of lecture: 'The Creative City: A 21st Century Urban Planning Strategy')

16 October 2012: Guest lecture at School of Housing, Building and Planning, USM. (Title of lecture: 'Planning for Creative Cities')

8 October 2013: Guest lecture at School of Housing, Building and Planning, USM. (Title of lecture: 'Creative City Experiences from Abroad: Lessons for Malaysia')

7 October 2014: Guest lecture at School of Housing, Building and Planning, USM. (Title of lecture: 'Creative City Experiences: Lessons for Malaysia')

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(Title; Granting Agency; Collaborators; Term; Status)

(1) Approaches Towards a Sustainable Human Capital Development in Malaysia; USM Incentive Grant; Principal Researcher: Khoo Suet Leng; 2010 - 2011; completed.

(2) Peluang dan Cabaran Golongan Kurang Upaya Dalam Pasaran Pekerjaan di Bahagian Utara Semenanjung Malaysia; USM Research University Grant; Principal Researcher: Tiun Ling Ta; Co-Researchers: Lee Lay Wah & Khoo Suet Leng; 2009 - 2012; completed.

(3) Locating Creative Industries in Creative Cities for Local Economic Development: The Case of Penang State; USM Research University Grant; Principal Researcher: Khoo Suet Leng; Co-Researchers: Narimah Samat et al; 2011 - 2014; on-going.

(4) Experimental Auction to Disburse Conservation Fund and Awareness of Built Heritage Conservation in Penang Island; USM Research University Grant; Principal Researcher: Ch'ng Kean Siang; Co-Researchers: Khoo Suet Leng & Lim Yoke Mui; 2011 - 2013; on-going.

(5) The Prospect and Challenges of Knowledge Intensive Services in the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER): A Model Towards Sustaining Economic Growth; USM Research University Grant; Principal Researcher: Sharifah Rohayah Sheikh Dawood; Co-Researchers: Khoo Suet Leng et al; 2011 - 2014; on-going.

(6) Public Goods Procurement Auction to Allocate Heritage Conservation Subsidy: An Experimental Study; Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) Grant; Principal Researcher: Ch'ng Kean Siang; Co-Researchers: Khoo Suet Leng, Lim Yoke Mui & Lilian Chan; 2012 - 2014; on-going.

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Main Supervisor to:

PhD, Research Mode

1. Chang Shu Fun (TITLE: Developing Penang as a Creative City)

2. Zain R. (TITLE: People's Participation in Local Government for Good Governance: A Survey-Based Study in Development Discourse.)

Masters, Research Mode

1. Oon Khar Ee (TITLE: Factors Contributing To A Liveable City: A Case Study of Penang)

2. Wang Xiaolong (TITLE: The Influence and Impact of College Enrolment in China on Universities, Families and Society)

Co-Supervisor to:

PhD, Research Mode

1. Hala Aiash (TITLE: Learning Organization and Social Development: A Case Study of European Gaza Hospital (EGH) - Gaza Strip)(COMPLETED)

2. Teuku Yusfadh Hijrin (TITLE: Pendekatan Penyertaan Masyarakat sebagai Asas Pembangunan Pelancongan di Propinsi Acheh)

3. Mardianto (TITLE: The Impact of Urban Development on Social Sustainability in Palembang)

4. Khadijeh Asadisarvestani (TITLE: Patterns and Determinants of Fertility and Reproductive Health: Muslim/Non-Muslim Differentials in Malaysia)

5. Yeong Siew Yan (TITLE: Alternative to Local Plan as a Development Control Instrument for Local Planning Authority: Case Study of Municipal Council of Penang Island (MPPP)

Master, Research Mode

1. Gah Khai Ling (TITLE: Ekonomi Politik dan Usahawan Cina di Kelantan - Satu Analisis)


Supervisor to:


1. Oon Khar Ee (TITLE: The Liveable City Concept - A Case Study of Penang)(Semester 1 & 2, 2012/2013)(COMPLETED)


1. Lin Han (TITLE: The Relationship between Education and Development)(Semester 2, 2011/2012)(COMPLETED)

2. Huang Yue (TITLE: Brain Drain in Malaysia)(Semester 2, 2011/2012)(COMPLETED)

3. Li Peng (TITLE: Higher Education in South-East Asia)(Semester 1, 2012/2013)(COMPLETED)

4. Sun Xin Xin (TITLE: Challenges and Opportunities of Cultural Heritage - Case Study of Chew Jetty, George Town)(Semester 2, 2012/2013)(COMPLETED)

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