Aliran secretary Prof Francis Loh will be speaking tomorrow, Saturday, 21 May from 11.00am – 2.00pm at The Annexe Gallery, Central Market Annex, KL.
The University of Nottingham’s Centre for the Study of Communications and Culture has been organising an ongoing seminar series on culture, media and identity, titled Voices: Public Intellectuals and Public Discourse in South and Southeast Asia.
In the upcoming presentation, the fifth in the series, Prof Francis Loh Kok Wah from Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, will deliver a talk titled “Contesting and Reconstituting the Malaysian Nation amidst New Politics.”
The following is an abstract of Prof Loh’s lecture:
In recent years a public and at times acrimonious debate has ensued over various ethno-religious issues including the ‘Social Contract’, the History curriculum used in secondary schools, the publication of the pamphlet myBalikPulau, Interlok, the distribution of the BM version of the Holy Bible, etc. On the basis of these debates and related incidents, some analysts have expressed concern that Malaysia is headed towards a breakdown in ethnic relations. This talk explores whether this is the case. Or is it, perhaps, because of the emergence of the political cultures of developmentalism, and a more participatory form of democracy, signalling the demise of ethnicism, that these controversial issues are coming to the fore nowadays? How should we understand the Malaysian nation amidst New Politics in Malaysia?
Dr Loh received his PhD (Politics and Southeast Asian Studies) from Cornell University. His latest publications include Southeast Asian Responses to Globalisation: Restructuring Governance and Deepening Democracy (co-editor, 2004), Politik Baru di Malaysia (2005), Old vs New Politics in Malaysia (2009) and Building Bridges, Crossing Boundaries: Everyday Forms of Inter-Ethnic Peace Building in Malaysia (editor, 2010). He is the Secretary of Aliran, a multi -ethnic Malaysian NGO advocating human rights and justice for all, and a member of the editorial collective of its Aliran Monthly.