Sharom stresses role of Humanities


A prominent academician has expressed concern about the decline in the study of the Humanities and the rising ‘technologisation’ of everyday life.

We are undergoing transformation at the hand of the technological imperatives such as Rationalisation, Universalism, Monism, observed Dato Dr Sharom Ahmat, the chairman of the Socio-Economic & Environmental Research Institute in Penang. “We live increasingly in a world of Technology, not a world of Nature. Technological values have eroded Human Values instead of ‘humanising’ them.”

Sharom, who happens to be the father of law lecturer and popular columnist Azmi Sharom, was delivering the keynote address at the opening dinner in Penang on Saturday of the regional workshop for the ninth batch of 23 Asian Public Intellectual Fellows from around the region who had just completed their fellowship programme. The theme of the workshop was ‘Towards transforming society and empowering people’ with panel discussions on the poor, the marginalised, sustainable development, relationship with Nature and cultural ideas.

The Humanities challenge us about where we stand on the values of human life, appropriateness of particular behaviours, the appreciation of beauty, and the value of money, said Sharom. “From the viewpoint of responsible citizenship, they pose the challenge not just of knowing your rights, but of doing what is right – a particularly important attribute in an age when doing what is right, and what is technically lawful are entirely different matters.”

The study of the Humanities and the diagnosis and improvement of the human condition are among the main objectives of the Nippon Foundation and its API Fellowship porgramme, he noted.

The fellowship programme provides a grant to successful applicants to carry out a project during a fellowship period of one month to one year in any one or more of selected countries in the region (Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand).

The public intellectuals include academics, researchers, media professionals, artists, creative writers, activists, social workers, public servants and others with moral authority who are committed to working for the betterment of society by applying their professional knowledge, wisdom and experience.

The programme aims to create a pool of such intellectuals in the region, promote mutual learning among Asian public intellectuals and contribute to the growth of public spaces in which effective responses to regional needs can be generated.

For more information on the Fellowship programme, visit the API Fellowships website here.

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Just started blogging again after 2 years, pls visit


Phua Kai Lit

Max Weber: “Iron cage of rationality”

George Ritzer: “McDonaldization of society”

Benjamin R. Barber: “Jihad versus McWorld”

Gerakan K

What’s your golden quote ???

My quote: “Only BN can bring development and stability in Malaysia”