ANU Malaysia Update 2023 - 25 years of Reformasi: A Critical Reflection

The 2022 Malaysian general election (GE15) saw long-time oppositional leader and reformist icon Anwar Ibrahim became Prime Minister of Malaysia, more than two decades after he initiated the Reformasi movement that created rippling effects throughout society. From prison to Putrajaya, is Anwar’s success a happy ending for Reformasi? 

Of course, the Reformasi ideals were always about more than just Anwar’s political ambitions. It is crucial and timely to conduct a critical reflection on the many aspects of reform agendas in Malaysia, not only politics but also economic, social, cultural and environmental developments since the late 1990s. For example, to what extent has Malaysia’s economic structure evolved since the 1998 Asian financial crisis? How have artists, cultural and media practitioners pushed for change and to what extent have they succeeded? How has Islam been a driver of change in Malaysia over the past 25 years? How has the notion of indigenous identity evolved? What is the state of civil society today after the height of anti-corruption social movements in the 2010s? Has Malaysia become more of a ‘leader’ in the Southeast Asian region and global affairs, or become more insular and domestic-focused? 

The ANU Malaysia Institute will hold the 2023 Malaysia Update conference (hybrid) in Canberra on Monday 20 March 9am-5pm, followed by a postgraduate symposium (in-person only) on Tuesday 21 March 9am-12.30pm.

The conference will feature leading academics of Malaysian Studies in Australia and Malaysia, as well as contributions from policymakers, students, and the general public.

Speakers on day one include: 
 

  • Sivarasa Rasiah, Former Deputy Minister of Rural Development, Malaysia
  • Azmil Tayeb, Universiti Sains Malaysia
  • James Chin, University of Tasmania
  • Masjaliza Hamzah, Sisters in Islam
  • Ross Tapsell, ANU
  • Faisal Tehrani, National University of Malaysia
  • Ying Xin Show, ANU
  • Björn Dressel, ANU
  • June Rubis, University of Sheffield
  • Nithiyananthan Muthusamy, Khazanah Research Institute
  • Teck Chi Wong, University of Queensland
  • Dian AH Shah, National University of Singapore
  • Robert Cribb, ANU
  • Hugh Robililard, A/g First Assistant Secretary, Southeast Asia Maritime Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade


The aim is to offer fresh perspectives on the study of Malaysia as well as to reflect on recent changes in Malaysia’s politics and society.

The conference is open to the general public, with in-person and online-attendance on Monday 20 March. 

 

Program

Monday 20 March (9am-5pm, in-person: Barton Theatre, JG Crawford Building 132, ANU; online: Zoom)

8.30-9am Registration

9.05am 
Welcome and Introduction
 

  • Welcome - Professor Helen Sullivan, Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific
  • Introduction – Associate Professor Ross Tapsell, Director, ANU Malaysia Institute


9.15am Political Update

  • Political Update I : Dr Azmil Tayeb, Universiti Sains Malaysia
  • Political Update II: Professor James Chin, University of Tasmania
  • Q&A

10.15am Media and Civil Society Update

  • Media and Civil Society Update: Masjaliza Hamzah, Sisters in Islam
  • Discussant: Associate Professor Ross Tapsell , ANU
  • Q&A


11.05-11.25am Morning Tea
 
11.25am
Cultural Update

  • Cultural Update: Dr Faisal Tehrani, National University of Malaysia
  • Discussant: Dr Ying Xin Show, ANU
  • Q&A


12.15pm Law and Judiciary Update

  • Law and Judiciary Update: Dr Dian AH Shah, National University of Singapore
  • Discussant: Associate Professor Björn Dressel, ANU
  • Q&A
     

1.05-2pm Lunch


2pm Keynote Speech

  • Keynote Speech: Sivarasa Rasiah, Former Deputy Minister of Rural Development
  • Q&A

 

2.40pm Environment and Indigenous Identity Update

  • Environment and Indigenous Identity Update: June Rubis, University of Sheffield
  • Discussant: Professor Robert Cribb, ANU
  • Q&A

3.30-3.50pm Afternoon Tea

3.50pm Economic Update

  • Economics Update: Nithiyananthan Muthusamy, Khazanah Research Institute
  • Discussant: Teck Chi Wong, University of Queensland
  • Q&A

4.40pm Concluding Remarks: Foreign policy/Australia-Malaysia relations

  • Hugh Robililard, A/g First Assistant Secretary, Southeast Asia Maritime Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

 

Tuesday 21 March (Postgraduate Symposium 9am-12.30pm, in-person, Barton Theatre, JG Crawford Building 132, ANU)

9am Panel 1 Politics and Economics 

  • Migration, foreign direct investment, associate policies and their influence on economic development in Malaysia - Stewart Nixon, ANU Crawford School of Public Policy
  • The politics of government-linked companies in Malaysia - Teck Chi Wong (UQ School of Political Science and International Studies) 
  • Competing for influence: The PRC and Taiwan in Kuching - Yun Seh Lee , College of Business, Government and Law, Flinders University
  • Navigating Asian values within the press social responsibility context in Malaysian journalistic practices: a critical ethnography - Aisya Aymanee M Zaharin, UQ School of Social Science
  • Chair: Nicholas Chan, ANU

 

10.30-11am Morning Tea

11am: Panel 2 Law and Judiciary 

  • FELDA settlers and the elimination of discrimination in respect of occupation  - Renuka Balasubramaniam, Melbourne Law School
  • Arbitration agreements in Malaysia: post Tindak Murni - Abdul Muiz Abdul Razak, ANU College of Law
  • Court’s dynamic in a hybrid regime - Amalina Yasmin Mohd Sokri , ANU School of Politics and International Relations
  • The right to work for refugees in Malaysia: past, present, and future policies - Aslam Abd Jalil (UQ School of Social Science) 
  • Chair: Joshua Neoh, ANU

 

12.30 -1pm Lunch

Registration for day one Monday 20 March (9am-5pm) is via Zoom Events Page

PROGRAM & VIRTUAL LOBBY

The Zoom Events page (ZE) is also your program for day one, containing information on the sessions, speakers and fellow attendees (if you share your profile with us). Whether you are attending online or in-person, the ZE event lobby is your hub for all the information you’ll need.
 
CONTACT US

If you have any queries, or need assistance to register in the ZE platform, please let us know. Email: parnerships.cap@anu.edu.au 

Read our handy guide here for instructions. 

Registration for day two - postgraduate symposium (in-person only) on Tuesday 21 March (9am-12.30pm):

Please register via Eventbrite link.