Monash Asia Seminars

CSEAS Special Seminar
Indonesian Achievements as ASEAN Chairman 2011 and Prospects for ASEAN-Australia Relations

I Gede Ngurah Swajaya, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to ASEAN

Tuesday 8th May 2012, 6.30pm – 7.30pm
Link Theatre, Room S2.30, Building S, Monash University Caulfield Campus

Light refreshments will be served 5.30pm – 6.15pm at MAI Seminar Room (Room H5.95), Building H
Prayer Rooms: Level 1, Building T (men); Level 1, Building B (women)

Ngurah Swajaya joined the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1986, and with his first assignment being the Third Secretary at the Indonesian Embassy to the Federal Republic of Germany, in Bonn (1992-95). He was later assigned at the Indonesian Permanent Mission to the UN in New York (1999-2003). At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2005-08), he served as the Director for the Multilateral Economic and Environment Cooperation, and the Director for ASEAN Political Security Cooperation.

Ngurah Swajaya was sworn in by the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Dr H Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Indonesia to the Kingdom of Cambodia (2009-10), and to ASEAN (from 2010). During the period the Republic of Indonesia serving as the rotating chair of ASEAN 2011, he was appointed to serve as the Chairperson of the Committee of the Permanent Representative to ASEAN. He also served as the Chairperson of the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee which was tasked to coordinate the implementation of the Master Plan of ASEAN Connectivity. As the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to ASEAN, Ambassador Ngurah also served as the member of the Board of Trustees of the ASEAN Foundation.

Ambassador Ngurah has been involved in many international, UN and ASEAN negotiations, and served as the chair or the facilitator in many of those negotiations. He is a co-author of the book titled ‘Indonesia and WSSD: Forging Consensus for Global Agreement on Sustainable Development‘, writes articles for local newspapers, and delivers lectures to several universities in Indonesia.

For information on travel, parking and map, please visit

Centre for Malaysian Studies (CMS) Seminar
The Struggle for ‘The Perception Space’: Excitements in Contemporary Malaysian Politics

Prof Shamsul AB
Tuesday 24th April 2012, 12noon – 1.00pm
Monash Asia Institute, Room H5.95, Building H, Monash University Caulfield Campus

Observing contemporary Malaysian politics is like watching Nicol David, the Malaysian six-times World Women’s Squash Champion, contesting the T position in the centre of the court. The squash contest is usually fast, furious and exciting. The contest for ‘the T-position’ or ‘the perception space’ in Malaysian politics is generally slow, steady but also highly exciting; involving, on the one side, the so-called extremist groups (PERKASA, HINDRAF, SUQUI) and, on the other, the civil society groups, and of course, the ruling party and supporters, the opposition plus supporters, and those sitting on the fence. If we include the bloggers, the courageous ones and the cowardly, suddenly we have a crowded T-position. This seminar presented an analysis of the antics and intrigues of those at the T-position of Malaysian politics. It also posed the question – in the end, to what extent do these excitements represent the momentous contemporary political struggle between two former UMNO Youth leaders, Anwar and Najib, both alumni of the one and only Malaysian ‘school of politics’, namely, the ‘Barisan Nasional Political Academy’?

Shamsul AB, a Monash alumnus, is Distinguished Professor, and currently, Founding Director, Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). He has researched, written and lectured extensively on the theme ‘politics, culture and economic development,’ with an empirical focus on Southeast Asia and, in particular, Malaysia. He is also a social commentator on Malaysian current affairs in print and online media, local and international (Al-Jazeera, BBC, ABC, National Geographic).

An MAI/MEEUC/CIMOW Joint Production
Panel Discussion ‘What does it mean to be Turkish? Ethnicity, Religion & Laicicte in the Turkish Republic

Friday 20th April 2012, 4.00pm – 6.00pm
Monash Asia Institute, Room H5.95, Building H, Monash University Caulfield Campus

Panel Members:
Professor Greg Barton (Monash University)
Dr David Tittensor (LaTrobe University)
Mr James Barry (Monash University)

Opening Remarks:
Dr Max Richter, Director of MAI
Dr Natalie Doyle, Acting Director of MEEUC

Professor Greg Barton – ‘Islam and Identity in Modern Turkey’
In theory, one thing that the vast majority of Turks hold in common is their Muslim identity. In practice, however, religion tends to be a source of division rather than unity for many Turks. More than most Muslim majority societies the Republic of Turkey has a turbulent history of contestation over laicitie / secularism and religious identity that has left deep divisions between Turks and high levels of misunderstanding and distrust. This presentation explored the reasons for this fractioning within Turkish society and compare the situation with Muslim majority nations in MENA and Asia in order to understand the current trajectory of developments within Turkish society.

Greg Barton is the Herb Feith Research Professor for the Study of Indonesia at Monash University. He is acting director of the Centre for Islam and the Modern World and a research leader in the Global Terrorism Research Centre. His research focuses on the ways in which religious thought – Islamic thought in particular, individual believers, and religious communities respond to modernity and to the modern nation state. He also has a general interest in comparative international politics and the Muslim world and specialist interests in Indonesia, Southeast Asia and Turkey. His biography Abdurrahman Wahid, Muslim Democrat, Indonesian President: A View from the Inside was published in 2002. His study of the Indonesian terrorist movement- Indonesia’s Struggle: Jemaah Islamiyah and the Soul of Islam-was published in 2004. He is currently working on Islam’s Other Nation: Faith in a Democratic Indonesia.

Dr David Tittensor – ‘From Ottoman Citizen to Turk: The Plight of Kurdish Identity
Turkey has a poor record when it comes to ethnic diversity. The reasons for this are many, interlinked and complex. In this talk he explored a few of the key issues, such as a sense of betrayal on the part of some of the Ottoman millets (nations), a sense of insecurity brought about by the treaty of Severes and the resultant war for independence, the influence of European thought on the nation and its impact on Atatürk, and what this all meant for the Kurds.

David Tittensor is a Research Associate at the Centre for Dialogue, La Trobe University. He has completed both a BA (Honours) in Sociology and Politics in 2004 and a PhD in Politics at Monash University, February 2011. His dissertation entitled ‘The Gülen Movement: Muslim Educational Activism in Turkey and Abroad’ examined the ideo-theology and practice of the transnational Turkish Educational Muslim activist network that has come to be known as the Gülen Movement after its spiritual leader Fethullah Gülen. He has published a number of articles on the Movement and has presented at a number of conferences on the Movement, and has also presented on Australia and its role in the Middle East, Turkey and the EU. His research interests are Muslim movements, world religions, Turkish politics and society, and the Middle East.

James Barry – ‘The Armenian Minority of Turkey
In the past century, the Christian population of Anatolia has dropped from close to 20% of the total to a negligible number under 1%. The circumstances surrounding this demographic shift remain a source of great sensitivity in Turkey, especially in their relations with their eastern Christian neighbour, Armenia. This talk focussed on how this history, in addition to Turkey’s changing approaches to ethnicity and religion, has impacted on their fledgling Armenian minority, particularly in the wake of the assassination of the Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in 2007.

James Barry received his B.A. (Hons) in Anthropology and History from Monash University in 2007. This year he is due to submit his PhD thesis on the Armenian minority of Iran. In 2011, he was a lecturer and tutor in Anthropology at Monash University. He is currently tutoring the History of Indigenous Australian Peoples at the Australian Catholic University.

* MEEUC: Monash European and EU Centre; CIMOW: Centre for Islam and the Modern World.
We thanked Ms Derya Dilara Akguner (GTReC) for her organisational input.

Changing Inequalities in Basic Energy Services in Rural India: Evidence from the Indian National Sample Survey

Dr Md Zakaria Siddiqui, Institute of Development Studies Kolkata
Tuesday 27th March 2012, 12 noon – 1.00pm
Monash Asia Institute, Room 5.95, Building H, Monash University Caulfield Campus

Recently, India has registered robust economic growth but fails to achieve such impressive performance in terms of human development index. Access to basic energy facilities plays a crucial role in determining the level of achievement in human development parameters but government lacks commitment to end such deprivations. This paper uses two rounds of household consumption expenditure data collected by National Sample Survey (NSS) office, Government of India to track changes in the inequality in access to basic energy services for lighting and cooking among major Indian states (50th round and 66th round relating to 1993-94 and 2009-10 situation respectively). We observe that access to electricity for lighting has been progressing well but performance for access to cooking facilities is still quite dismal which is very important for achievements in health and education, particularly for women and girl children.

Md Zakaria Siddiqui works as Assistant professor in Economics at the Institute of Development Studies Kolkata, India. His main theme of research is energy related issues in India.

Hong Kong’s Highly Contested 2012 Chief Executive Election: Absence of Universal Suffrage Notwithstanding – Still the Most Exciting Election Ever in Greater China (Outside of Taiwan)

Professor Richard Cullen, Hong Kong University
Thursday 29th March 2012, 4.00pm – 5.00pm
Monash Asia Institute, Room 5.95, Building H, Monash University Caulfield Campus

In accordance with the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), 2012 is an election year to choose the Chief Executive (CE) of the HKSAR. Also in accordance with the Basic Law – and Beijing’s preference – the electoral college which does the choosing (known at the Election Committee) has just 1200 members. These 1200 are chosen using a system designed to ensure an overwhelming majority of Beijing-sympathetic members.

For this 2012 CE election (held on 25 March 2012), however, two persons who are both well regarded by Beijing (sufficiently “red”) nominated to run for the post of Chief Executive: C.Y. Leung (former Convenor of the [mainly advisory] Executive Council;) and Henry Tang (formerly Chief Secretary [#2] in the HKSAR Government). The mainstream Pro-Democracy group also nominated a candidate, Albert Ho. It is rumoured that Beijing tried to encourage C.Y. Leung not to run – unsuccessfully. He has remained the most popular candidate by a wide margin in most opinion polls. As the election process unfolded, various scandals (some very serious) have swirled about the well-regarded Beijing candidates. And in the midst of the campaigning, yet more serious scandals began to engulf the current Chief Executive, Donald Tsang.

The result is easily the most interesting election at the CE level the HKSAR has seen since 1997.

In this presentation, Richard Cullen will explain the conduct and impact of this rather remarkable election – with comments on its significance in relation to coming elections in the HKSAR for the Legislature (LegCo) later in 2012 and the planned first universal suffrage election of a Chief Executive in 2017. He will also talk about the significance of this election with respect to: the HKSAR-Beijing relationship; and China’s general political development.

Richard Cullen joined the Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong (HKU), as a Visiting Professor in August 2006. He was previously a Professor at Monash University (and Head of the Deaprtment of Business Law and Taxation). He has spent over 15 years based in Hong Kong teaching and writing on Hong Kong and China. He has written and co-written several books and more than 140 articles, notes and comments focussed on Public Law, Media Law and Tax Law. He is a member of the Hong Kong think tank, Civic Exchange. His co-authored (with Simon Young of HKU) book, Electing Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, was published, by HKU Press in English in 2010 and in Chinese in 2011.

‘Knowledge’ – Development Elixir or Hegemonic Discourse?

Dr Anna-Katharina Hornidge, Department of Social and Cultural Change, Center for Development Research, University of Bonn/Germany
Thursday 8th March 2012, 4.00pm – 5.00pm
Monash Asia Institute, Room H5.95, Level 5, Building H, Monash University Caulfield Campus

In the past twenty to thirty years, the notion of ‘knowledge’ has increasingly shaped development discourses worldwide. Packaged under the terms ‘knowledge society’ and ‘information society’, different types of knowledge have been identified and discussed as crucial drivers for the economic development of nation-states. At the same time ‘knowledge’, labelled as ‘knowledge for development’, increasingly moved into the centre of attention in the area of international development cooperation and poverty alleviation.

The notion of ‘knowledge’ and its paths taken from the level of global discourse to the level of national science and development policy-making in the past twenty to thirty years, are critically assessed by drawing on country experiences of Malaysia and Indonesia. The speaker therefore questions the notion of ‘knowledge’ as social and at the same time global construct that discursively orients and motivates (national-level) actors (in Weber’s understanding) to design and implement global (and often western) influenced science policy by aspiring globally formulated areas of R&D interest rather than locally embedded R&D capacities that can be developed further.

Conceptually the discussion builds on the sociology of knowledge approach to discourse developed by Keller with reference to Berger and Luckmann. Empirically, the study rests on altogether seven years of qualitative and quantitative empirical research in the construction of knowledge societies in Southeast Asia and Europe.

Dr Anna-Katharina Hornidge is Senior Researcher at the Department of Social and Cultural Change at the Center for Development Research, University of Bonn/Germany. She specializes in knowledge and development sociology and cultural studies, but includes environmental sociology and development-oriented innovation creation and diffusion processes among her research interests. She has extensively worked on processes of the social construction of ‘knowledge society’ in Germany and Singapore (2007), while increasingly looking at farmer-led and -oriented knowledge creation and innovation development in Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan) and Southeast Asia (Indonesia). She is currently the project leader of a research project on local epistemic cultures and innovation diffusion in agriculture in Tajikistan and Georgia, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany and implemented by the Center for Development Research, University of Bonn, Germany.

The Launch of Helene van Klinken’s Making them Indonesians: Child Transfers our of East Timor

The book was launched by Galuh Wandita, a prominent Indonesian human rights advocate and head of the International Centre for Transitional Justice in Indonesia and Timor-Leste.
Thursday 16th February 2012, 6.00-8.00 pm
Level 8 (SOPHIS Foyer), Building H, Monash University, Caulfield Campus

The book is published by Monash University Publishing and is the first book in the new Monash Asia Series.

Helene van Klinken worked in Java, Indonesia, in university contexts between 1984 and 1991, and 2000 to 2002. She first visited East Timor in 1989 after the territory was opened to outside visitors. In 1999 she worked for the United Nations as a political affairs officer in the lead up to the popular consultation, and in 2003 was a volunteer at the CAVR (the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor). This book is based on the PhD thesis she completed at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, in 2009. Together with Achnesia Felina Manganang, she founded the Istoriaku website to assist those transported from East Timor and document their experiences.

‘I hope this book will help East Timorese who were taken to Indonesia as children to realise that they are not alone in their experience.’
– Foreword by Her Excellency Ms Kirsty Sword Gusmão

‘One Indonesian soldier was particularly nice to me. He gave me pretty clothes and sweets and used to take me for walks and to his office. Then one Sunday, it was just after my first communion, I was coming out of church with other children when soldiers took me and put me into a vehicle. My uncle tried to stop them. I remember screaming and being very frightened. They took me to the nearby airfield and then in a helicopter. As we took off I threw the handkerchief my uncle had given me out of the helicopter. In Dili I stayed for some time in the soldiers’ barracks in Taibessi where there were East Timorese women, one of whom cared for me. On one occasion I tried to run away and find my way back home. After some time the soldier was finished in Ainaro; he collected me from the barracks and took me back to Indonesia by plane.’
– Biliki, in Jakarta (2003) recalling her last recollections of her life in
East Timor as a seven-year-old child in 1978.

Biliki was one of approximately 4,000 dependent East Timorese children who were transferred to Indonesia during the occupation of East Timor by Indonesia between 1975 and 1999. Many, like Biliki, were taken by soldiers to be adopted, others were sent to institutions in Indonesia by government and religious organisations. This book is the first detailed account of the history of the transfer of these children to Indonesia.

Understanding the Chinese Anti-Money Laundering System

Ms Lishan Ai (PhD Candidate, Centre for Transnational Crime Prevention, University of Woolongong, NSW)
Friday 27th January 2012, 12 noon – 2.00 pm
Monash Asia Institute, Room H5.95, Level 5, Building H, Monash University Caulfield Campus

The rapid progress of building up a comprehensive Chinese anti-money laundering (AML) system stuns the world, but inherent limitations and practical issues behind the success should not be neglected. This presentation attempted to introduce the structure of Chinese anti-money laundering system, analyze main arrangements on combating money laundering in China, and make comments on the a series of factors that impact on China’s AML effectiveness from economic, political, legal, and cultural perspectives.

Ms Lishan Ai has a Master degree in transnational crime prevention at University of Wollongong in 2008. Since March 2009, she has gone on to study a PhD at Centre for Transnational Crime Prevention (UOW) where she is looking into anti-money laundering regulation and implementation in Chinese financial sectors. She is currently a research assistant in this centre, and is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist ACAMS.

Ms Ai has published several articles on related work in refereed journals of high standing, such as Journal of Money Laundering Control and Journal of Financial Crime, and was invited to attend the 28th International Symposium on Economic Crime at University of Cambridge in September 2010, and 2011. She will be presenting her paper ‘Applying a Rule-Based but Risk-Oriented Approach to Combating Money Laundering in China’ at the 9th Asian Law Institute (ASLI) Annual Conference held by National University of Singapore in June 2012. She also joined an edited book project ‘Financial Crimes: From a Technological Viewpoint to an Ethical Perspective’ which will be published by Springer in 2013.