CENTRE FOR MALAYSIAN STUDIES/MONASH ASIA INSTITUTE Seminar in collaboration with the MALAYSIAN CONSULATE-GENERAL (MELBOURNE)

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 19/08/2013
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Location
Consulate-General of Malaysia,

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CENTRE FOR MALAYSIAN STUDIES/MONASH ASIA INSTITUTE Seminar in collaboration with the MALAYSIAN CONSULATE-GENERAL (MELBOURNE)

12:00pm- 1:00pm, followed by a light lunch and refreshments

Venue: Consulate-General of Malaysia, 1st Floor, 432 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

Malaysian Politics goes Global: The Formation of the Malaysian Opposition Global Diaspora

By Shamsul A.B.

ABSTRACT

Some observers have noted that since the Malaysian 12th General Elections March 2008 (GE12, March 2008), Malaysian politics have become global in outlook, mainly due to the intensive use of the Internet by the Opposition. This observation is further strengthened by evidence gathered by various researchers during the 2008-2013 period namely before Malaysia’s 13th General Elections (GE13) in May 2013. This observation is indeed true. However, Malaysian domestic politics have had global influences and became global long before the Internet existed and even before the term globalization was introduced. Take for instance the Malay nationalist movement, and its sub-movements, that emerged in the 1920s and later shaped Malaysian post-war and post-colonial politics. These were heavily ‘global’ in terms of political ideas, and influenced strongly by personalities and nationalist movements in Egypt, Indonesia and the UK.  The various sub-movements were both pro- and anti-establishment. This was articulated clearly during the Japanese Occupation period. It has to be noted that in the post-war era, the role of Malaysian students overseas, private and government-sponsored, has been crucial in ‘internationalizing’ or ‘globalizing’ Malaysian domestic politics, because they supported various political parties in Malaysia. The internationalization tempo was increased many times as a result of the Reformasi movement in 1998, which was openly oppositionist and anti-establishment. This movement underpinned the formation of a successful opposition coalition and became a joint platform for many NGOS. The intensity of this ‘global movement’ is evident in the results of the GE12 March 2008 and also in the recent GE13 May 2013. It could be argued that it is not a movement anymore. It has become a diaspora, one that shall permanently exist as long as there are Malaysians who are residents abroad. This is a landmark political shift and feature of the Malaysian political landscape which anyone interested in Malaysia must seriously take into consideration.

BIODATA Distinguished Professor Datuk Dr. Shamsul Amri Baharuddin (Shamsul A.B.) is one of the three inaugural Distinguished Professors in Malaysia. Currently, he is the Foundation Director, Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA), The National University of Malaysia (UKM). Since 1976, he has been researching, writing and lecturing extensively at the local and international level on the theme “economic development, politics and culture” with an empirical focus on the Malay World and Malaysia. Currently, he is the Deputy Chair, National Professors’ Council, Malaysia and Pro-Tem Chair, Academy of Social Sciences and Humanities, Malaysia. He comments regularly in local and international media, such as ASTRO Awani, Al-Jazeera, Channel News Asia, National Geographic Channel, Radio Australia, BBC London and the Wall Street Journal. Some of his writings could be accessed at <http://ukm.academia.edu/wwwkitaukmmy>

A light meal and refreshments will be served.

RSVP and enquiries: Dr Wendy Smith, Director, Centre for Malaysian Studies, Monash Asian Institute, wendy.smith@monash.edu, by Thursday 15th August, 2013.

Reservations are essential for catering and seating arrangements.