Anchored on the global welfare regime literature, this article discusses three key themes: welfare regime change, the drivers of change and the implication of the regime change toward insecurity in Southeast Asia. This article focuses on welfare regimes in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand mainly because these countries experienced high economic growth and were correspondingly affected by the 1997-Asian financial crisis. However, their response to the crisis differed due to their distinctive historical-colonial legacies. The article argues that the regimes shifted from productivist to a more inclusive regime partly as public health programmes reached citizens previously uncovered. However, the timing, pace and direction of welfare reform met social unrest, and fundamentally brought into the fore questions of ‘ontological security’. The article concludes that the three regimes cannot substantiate a shift towards ‘secure’ welfare regimes as they continue to rely heavily on family and community for welfare provision to overcome social risk.