With the anticipation of the coming GE15, this forum kicks off Penang Institute’s series of discussions on social, cultural, and political issues surrounding the election. The dialogue will encompass views on the impacts of youth voters in shaping the direction of Malaysia’s future. During the event, the books: Dark Forces Changing Malaysia and Malaysia Towards GE15 and Beyond will also be on sale. In the books, prolific writers Lim Teck Ghee and Murray Hunter expose the deep truths of Malaysia’s social and political plight which not many dare to delve. Their analyses, through a series of reflective and opinion essays, unravel the complexities of Malaysia’s journey since independence.
Date: 24 September 2022 (Saturday)
Time: 11.00am – 1:00pm (Doors open from 10.30am)
Venue: Penang Institute, 10-12 Brown Road, George Town
1. Dr. Lim Teck Ghee, Policy Analyst
2. Dr. Murray Hunter, Asia and Oceania Analyst, Eurasia Review
3. Yeong Pey Jung, Senior Analyst, Penang Institute
4. Fauwaz Abdul Aziz, Projects Researcher, Penang Institute
Moderator: Dr. Beh May Ting, Senior Analyst, Penang Institute
About the Panellists and Moderator
Dr. Lim Teck Ghee’s career has straddled academia and international development organizations. In his academic career, besides holding a Social Science Chair in the University of Malaya, he was a Visiting Fellow and Professor at various universities abroad. Following departure from academia, he worked with UNESCAP and the World Bank. Presently principally a columnist and commentator on Malaysia and international affairs, his articles appear in The Sun Daily (Another Take), Oriental Daily, Malaysiakini and other local and regional news websites including Eurasia Review and Asia Sentinel. His recent books include: Multiethnic Malaysia: Past, Present and Future (2009, as co-editor); Challenging the Status Quo in Malaysia (2017) and Anatomy of An Electoral Tsunami (2018, as co-editor) and Dark Forces Changing Malaysia and Malaysia Towards GE15 and Beyond (with Murray Hunter, 2022).
Dr. Murray Hunter has been involved in Asia-Pacific business for the last 40 years as an entrepreneur, consultant, academic, and researcher. Murray was an associate professor at the University Malaysia Perlis, assisting in setting up the School of Bio-Process Engineering and SME Unit. He spent a lot of time consulting with Asian governments on community development and village biotechnology, both at the strategic level and “on the ground”. Murray is the Asia and Oceania Analyst for the Eurasia Review, Vice Chairman of the advisory board of Modern Diplomacy, former correspondent for the Asian Correspondent, a long time contributor to the Asia Sentinel and Geopolitical Monitor, and opinion maker with The 21st Century. Murray was also a regular television commentator on RT and Malaysia’s Astro Awani.
Yeong Pey Jung holds a Masters in Business from Swinburne University of Technology and a double degree in Arts (Psychology & Political Science) and Commerce (Economics) from University of Melbourne. Her main research work includes gender equality, minority marginalization and socio-economic issues in youth development. Other research interests include the Malaysia NEP, affirmative action in a welfare state, and the politics of international trade.
Fauwaz Abdul Aziz holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in Islamic civilizational studies from Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia. He is currently writing his PhD dissertation in Anthropology at the Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU) Erlangen–Nürnberg in Germany. Prior to the Penang Institute, Fauwaz was a researcher at FAU’s Institute for Near Eastern and East Asian Languages and Civilizations (2019-2020), a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Sachsen-Anhalt (2017-2021), and researcher at the Penang-based Third World Network (2012-2017). His academic, personal, and professional interests are in public policy, political and socio-economy, historical and political anthropology, Islamic studies, ethnicity, inequality, and Southeast Asian studies.
Dr. Beh May Ting holds an MSocSc in Asian Studies from Universiti Sains Malaysia (where she graduated as the Gold Medalist of the faculty during her BSocSc) and a PhD in Anthropology from Monash University. She specialises in Urban Anthropology, Food Studies, and Cultural Geography. Prior to joining Penang Institute, she was a Lecturer with the School of Arts and Social Sciences in Monash University Malaysia. During her doctoral studies, she was a Graduate Research Fellow with the Asia Research Institute in the National University of Singapore. Apart from research work, May Ting is a polyglot, athlete, and musician.
What others have said about the book:
Lim Kit Siang, MP for Iskander Puteri and former leader of Opposition
Malaysia has taken a wrong turn in nation-building. Will Malaysia end up as a failed state when we celebrate our Centennial? Will there be a Second Malaysian Diaspora in post-Covid 19 pandemic where another generation of the best and brightest Malaysians leave Malaysian shores to make other nations great? This will depend on whether we can return to the nation-building principles our forefathers have agreed to in the Malaysian constitution – constitutional monarchy, separation of powers, rule of law, democracy, good governance and a plural society. Lim Teck Ghee and Murray Hunter have grappled with these issues which will decide the future of Malaysia.
Ambiga Sreenevasan, Lawyer and Human Rights Advocate
Lim Teck Ghee and Murray Hunter, two incisive political commentators take on the daunting task of unravelling the complexities of the Malaysian journey since independence. They have dared to touch on all the issues that really matter which have been bullied out of the public space for being “sensitive” and therefore off limits to any reasonable discussion. Yet to discuss them we must. Through the years Malaysia, or rather her politicians, have woven a tangled web of power, race, religion and corruption that seems impenetrable. These power dynamics have brought us to our current sorry state. This book helps us to take that crucial first step of looking at ourselves honestly and critically. If we can all put the nation first and do just that, we have a chance of the Malaysia we dreamed of. This book is essential reading for all Malaysians who believe this is yet possible.
Wong Chin Huat, Professor, Governance Studies Division, Jeffrey Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia
It is common and even fashionable for Malaysians to lament on what’s wrong with the country, blame the politicians and the system, and then sink into hopelessness and helplessness. Instead of laments, blames and self-pity, we need to ask hard questions, examine possible options, decide on viable solutions and team up for collective actions. This book by Teck Ghee and Murray is an invitation for Malaysians to stare into the dark forces overshadowing Malaysia’s past, present and future and walk out of the woods of despair. Instead of apathy and cynicism, these two vocal public intellectuals have timelily invited us to the alternatives.