Public Forum: A New Imagination of Unity

Speakers: 

Ibrahim Sufian, Merdeka Center

Wong Chin Huat, Penang Institute

Cynthia Gabriel, Center to Combar Corruption & Cronyism (C4)

Moderator: Tricia Yeoh, IDEAS

Date & Time: Saturday, 5th September 2015, 8.00 – 10.30pm

Venue: Corus Hotel KL, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur

Unity has been the ideal and direction for Malaysia ever since the Independence to the journey towards being a developed and a modern nation.

It’s widely argued by various scholars that Malaysia, despite its problems and challenges, is still among the best of examples of a developing country with a plural society.

Much of the successes in building up a harmonious society especially in terms of inter-ethnic relations were credited to previous leaders who were able to deal with the differences among different communities through a power-sharing political model, economic policy and the strength of its institution that created a solid social structure, that despite facing various challenges, Malaysia is still able to retain its stability and state of unity among the various communities over the years.

However, in recent years there are signs that the social structure is breaking apart. The political consociation model of Barisan Nasional has lost its popular support due to increasing democratic awareness and political contestation.

The economic condition in the country is showing worrying trends and the people generally are struggling in making ends meet.

Confidence towards the Government and its institutions is at an all time low.

Incidents of raising racial-religious sentiments can be noticed either on the ground, or by the speeches of political leaders.

The national unity model that may have worked before seems no longer relevant.

Moving into the near future, with the increasing number and voices of the younger generation, a new imagination of National Unity is what is needed.

But there are several key questions must first be answered in leading a new direction towards unity.

• What may be the alternative political model that can ensure stability to the nation after many coalition efforts by the opposition parties before including Barisan Alternatif to Pakatan Rakyat were proven unsustainable?

• What shall be the way forward to our economic policies that could bring progress to the country, while being accepted by the different communities?

• How could the Public Institution regain back the confidence of the people and what key reforms are needed to address this problem?

These topics, among others will be touched and discussed during the public forum “A New Imagination of Unity”.

For further information or to attend, please RSVP via email to ehsan@merdeka.org or contact Ehsan at 012-2631160.

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