Malaysia in Transition Seminar Series
19 October 2018, Friday — The seminar “Rights and reforms under Pakatan Harapan: Islam, Gender, Shariah in “New” Malaysia” was organised as part of the Malaysia in Transition Series, which looks at post GE-14 situation in the country. Two distinguished academics spoke at the seminar, moderated by ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute Fellow Dr Norshahril Saat. About 60 participants attended the seminar.
Professor Dato’ Sri Dr Zaleha Kamarudin, a legal expert and first female rector of the International Islamic University Malaysia, spoke about the legal reforms agenda which Pakatan Harapan government promised in its elections manifesto, and the challenges ahead to implement its promises. Her talk asked whether the birth of New Malaysia will lead to reforms in shariah jurisdictions? She covered interesting case studies such as the child brides issue, and how reforms in shariah courts were not moving as quickly as one had hoped in most states.
The second speaker, Professor Noraida Endut, Director and a Professor of the Centre for Research on Women and Gender (KANITA), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), looked at the status of women in Malaysia, especially their levels of participation in politics and labour. She also discussed issues pertaining to Convention on the Elimination of All Forms Of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and examine the extent of the government’s commitment to these international conventions.