Seminar: Malay Politics in Malaysia: Changing World and Way Forward
About the Seminar
Malay power remains the predominant force in Malaysian politics. Ever since political independence in 1957, a majority of Malays have supported the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), a party that advocates what Abdullah Ahmad emphatically called ‘ketuanan Melayu’, Malay supremacy or Malay pre-eminence. The ketuanan Melayu ideology framed the New Economic Policy (NEP) and justified the implementation of race-based affirmative action policies and programmes to redress inequalities in the country.
But, the NEP’s success in reducing inter-ethnic inequalities while increasing the class differentiation of Malay society has revealed the contradictions and distortions of continuing the raced-based preferential policies. Rising intra-ethnic inequalities, especially among Malays, mean that a more inclusive approach is needed to redress the new inequalities in Malaysia.
More broadly, instead of UMNO’s ketuanan Melayu, Malay politics should adopt a diverse approach that recognizes and accepts multiculturalism and multi-ethnic interests. Political parties such as Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) uphold the need to move away from racial politics and embrace an inclusive, progressive approach.
About the Speaker
Dato’ Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa was born on 25 October 1964 in Georgetown, Penang, and educated at Penang Free School. He received a BA (Arabic language and literature) from Al-Azhar University, Egypt, and an MA (Human Resource Management) from Universiti Putra, Malaysia. In 2008, he was awarded a PhD (Political Science) by University Malaya.
Before entering politics, Dato’ Dr Mujahid worked as a lecturer at Multimedia University, Malacca. Currently, Dato’ Dr Mujahid is a Vice President of Parti Amanah Negara and the Member of Parliament for Parit Buntar, Perak. He was a member of the AIPA CAUCAS Committee at parliamentary level, and in 2011, Dato’ Dr Mujahid was elected as the Chairman of Southeast Asia Interfaith Dialogue for Peace. In 2013, he was appointed as a member of the Consultation Council for National Unity.
As a parliamentarian, he has participated in many seminars and represented Malaysia in many international conferences in the US, Niger, Krygystan, Morocco, Indonesia, Taiwan, Uzbekistan, and so on. Dato’ Dr Mujahid is also an active writer and has published a few books including Rejuvenasi PAS, Menuju PAS Baru and and Berdialog Dengan Gereja.