Seminar: Malaysia’s Religious Interaction with Saudi Arabia



About the Seminar

Religious interaction is one of the significant elements in Malaysia-Saudi Arabia relations. There are two important features in Malaysia’s religious interaction with Saudi Arabia. The first feature is on the implementation of Islamic teachings, Islamic jurisprudence in particular, for both countries. Malaysia is traditionally associated with the teaching of the Shafiite school from as early as the 15th century, whereas the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia largely practices the Hanbalite-Wahhabism school.  In religiously interacting with Saudi Arabia, Malaysia is certainly dealing with the Kingdom’s Wahhabism ideology which arguably inspired some Islamic movements during the 19th and early 20th centuries ago in the Malay Archipelago. Malaysia, however, to this date, is less receptive of the Wahhabism ideology due to the dominance of the Shafiite school, the government’s ‘guarded’ religious policies and the own-styled of local da’wah movements which differ with Wahhabism approaches. The second feature is, despite differences in the implementation of Islamic teachings, Malaysia has received a number of capital donations from the Kingdom to financially assist the development of socio-economic projects and religious activities. Until today, the interaction between the two countries has been steadily growing stronger and more collaborative projects have been launched to enhance the scope of their bilateral relations in the future.

About the Speaker

Associate Professor Dr Asmady Idris is an International Relations lecturer at University Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Malaysia. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in International Relations from University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Dr Idris has published numerous articles on the Middle East-Asia Pacific relations, such as  “Impact of Mutual Interaction between Civil Society and Conditionality by an External Actor on Democratization: Cases of Turkey and Malaysia (co-authored with Irem Askar Karakir, 2016)”, Malaysia’s Contemporary Political and Economic Relations with Iran (co-authored with Remali Yusoff, 2015), “Malaysian
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Humanitarian Issues in Gaza, Palestine (2012), “Early Development of Malaysia’s Relations With Saudi Arabia (2003)”, and others. His latest book is Malaysia’s Relations with Saudi Arabia, 1957-2003, published by University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Press in 2015.


To register, please fill in this form and email it to by 29 March 2017.


Mar 30 2017


10:00 am - 11:30 am


ISEAS Seminar Room 2