On 10th. November, 2008, the rather colourfully nomenclatured Centre for Media and Information Warfare Studies organized a roundtable conference – incidentally not a faculty connected with the military. The theme of the conference was Future of Malaysia.
There were approximately 40 participants. There were academicians [Prof. Shad Faruqi (UiTM), Datuk Dr. Denison Jayasooria (UKM) and Assoc. Prof. Azmi Shahrom (UM)], lawyers [former Bar Council President, Mr. Yeo Yang Poh, present Bar Council Vice-President, Mr. Ragunath Kesavan and Mr. Philip Koh] and even members from the local media [Dina Zaman and Michelle Gunaseelan].
It was an eclectic mix of people and this probably encouraged a diverse range of viewspoints being put forward. Despite that diversity, the ever recurrent issues of race and religion arose during the course of discussions and was a focal part of the conference discussions.
Having just come away from the conference, having read a bit more and having thought that much more on those twin issues, it seemed a sensible time as any to flesh out some of my thinking on this issue. More so given:
- the recent announcement by the current Deputy Prime Minister that the 30% equity provisions remains a national policy;
- in light of the demonstrations against the Bar Council’s forum on August 2008; and
- in view of the IGPs warnings against demonstrations held by non-Muslims NGOs against the fatwas against tomboys and yoga.
To be continued …
Tags: Malaysia, race, religion
Posted in History/Current Affairs | 2 Comments »