MALAYSIA STUDIES PROGRAMME
ABOUT THE SEMINAR
The displacement of Indian communities from the former plantation areas of the greater Klang Valley region (GKVR) of Selangor State in Malaysia (GKVR), and their subsequent forced movement to squatter areas and high-rise low cost housing led to their becoming a part of the lowest bottom 40 percent of Malaysian society. Simmering frustration over their deteriorating socioeconomic situation finally culminated in the massive protest, led by HINDRAF (Hindu Rights Action Force), in Kuala Lumpur in November 2007. Subsequently, the 2008 and 2013 General Elections saw a decline of support from Indians for Barisan Nasional (BN), the ruling coalition, as well as the diminution of the Malaysian Indian Congress, a party that represented Indians in the ruling coalition.
Various projects have been implemented to address and redress the plight of the Indians by various interest groups, NGOs, political parties, middle-class Indians as well as Tamil newspapers and writers championing their cause in the proposed 11th Malaysian Plan. The seminar will recount the political maneuvering among these groups to emerge as champions of the displaced and working class Indians. The discussion would also present findings by the author in a recent fieldwork carried out in the GKVR.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
A Mani is Visiting Senior Fellow, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute and Emeritus Professor, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan, where he has been associated with since 2000. Currently, Dr Mani still teaches at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University on subjects related to South East Asia and South Asia. Mani has also previously worked at the Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore, and the University of Brunei Darussalam. He has edited four books relating to Indians in Southeast Asia and his academic areas of interest include education, ethnicity and migration.
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