Information technology has empowered civil society to be the true guardians of democracy and good governance everywhere...In a sense, it has been the new superpower -- the people determined to promote better standards of life in a larger freedom.
- Mr. Kofi Annan Secretary-General of the United Nations

Welcome to Malaysia Forum.

We are a group of non-partisan, but socially conscious Malaysian students and professionals living in United States of America. Malaysia Forum intends to create greater discussion and understanding of Malaysia and also its connection to the greater world. Through this forum, we would also like to gather different perspectives from people across the globe for the betterment of Malaysia.

Malaysia Forum welcomes all interested individuals and groups (regardless of religion, ethnicity and nationality) to participate in this endeavor. We believe that having our effort combined, we can make a difference in further growing democracy and civil society of Malaysia.

Currently, we meet regularly in the Bay Area, California. Recently, we had our first workshop session at Bechtel International Center of Stanford University. We were very happy that more than 70 people came to rekindle themselves on the various social issues of Malaysia.

If you're interested in hearing from us in the future, please sign up to our mailing list: and . We have some instructions to guide you along.

Interested in setting up a Malaysia Forum at your current school/university/city/country? We can help! Sign-up to our mailing list and post your ideas!


The Malaysia Forum is a non-partisan non-profit educational forum that seeks to promote discussion of affairs affecting civil society in Malaysia through various media and public dialogue. The Forum also hopes to raise awareness of civil society issues by providing a neutral platform for the exchange of ideas and resources for further action.


The Malaysia Forum has at its heart a concern for the future of Malaysia and a deep desire that Malaysia should grow in economic prosperity, in the strength of her institutions and the richness of her culture. Believing that these desires will come to fruition only insofar as a robust civil society exists in Malaysia, the Forum aims to cultivate a culture of healthy public debate around issues of Malaysian society, culture, politics and economy and thereby to encourage active engagement of these issues. Believing also that the issues facing Malaysia today are universal phenomena that can be better understood in a global context, the Forum seeks to draw on and contribute to the experiences and expertise of a larger community, including Malaysians abroad and other interested parties.

Announcing our new WIKI -

We've incorporated a wiki engine to help everyone document our knowledge. If you have any interesting material, or collection of information you'd like to share with everyone, especially information about Malaysia and her future, please do not hesitate to put it up on the wiki. A wiki is a self-maintaining set of document where the readers continuously correct mistakes and bring facts up to date.

Although the amount of information is still little, it's a good start - Go to the WIKI now! Thank you. -- Submit your dream today!

Malaysia Forum is pround to present to you,, a child project of Malaysia Forum Conference 2005. In it's own words, is a project to gather the Malaysian Dreams of all Malaysians, and to display them in a public form such that all Malaysians will be privy to each other's dreams. We hope that through sharing our dreams, each idea, thought, or whimsical wish will serve to inspire us to start dreaming, challenge us to think critically about what our country's future should be, and most importantly, motivate us to work toward our own personal vision of Malaysia.

Log in today and submit your dream!

Our Next Event

Merdeka Gathering

Malaysia Forum would like to invite you to a roundtable potluck gathering in the lights the coming Merdeka day. The topic of discussion, among other things, includes the issues pertaining to the recent announcement of the "Agenda Nasional Baru" - what it is about, how did we get there and what would be the impact to all Malaysians.
WHEN: 3-7pm, 28 Auguest 2005 (Sunday)
WHERE: Omar's place
WHO: Our host for the event, Omar Khalid
RSVP: Email to get the address and direction to his house.
You can also contact

Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!

Past Event

Roundtable with Jeff Ooi

It is a our pleasure to introduce to you the most influential blogger in Malaysia, Jeff Ooi. He will be joining us in a Malaysia Forum roundtable discussion. We will discuss the topic of blogging. We will learn about getting one's point across to a wide audience with blogging, understand life of a blogger. Perhaps being inspired to blog from all around the world as technology has shrunk the distance all around the world.
WHEN: 3-5pm, 9 July 2005 (Saturday)
WHERE: Choon Ping's place
WHO: Jeff Ooi and our host for the event, Choon Ping Chng
RSVP: Email to get the address and direction to his house.
You can also contact or
Don't miss this opportunity!
Light refreshment will be served.

Past Event

MF in New York: Gomez and Higher Education

WHEN: 6pm, 25 June 2005 (Saturday)
WHERE: Malaysian Village Restaurant
1 Doyers Street
  1. Makan throughout
  2. Introductions
  3. What is MF?
  4. Higher education discussion
WHO: Our guests for the evening are Dr. Azly Rahman and Dr. Mutiara Mohamed, UUM lecturers who are on leave at Columbia. Dr. Azly is also a Malaysiakini columnist. Nick Choo and Charis Quay will present the 'What is MF?' bit.
RSVP: If you plan to come, please let know so that we can get you the reading packet and also make a reservation for the correct number of people.

Past Event

Malaysia Forum Conference 2005

Past Event

A meet-up with...

4 Malaysian Film Directors
Amir Muhammad The Big Durian(2003), Tokyo Magic Hours(2005)
Deepak Kumaran Menon Chemman Chaalai/The Gravel Rood (2004)
Saw Teong Hin Puteri Gunung Ledang (2004)
Woo Ming Jin Lampu Merah Mati/Monday Morning Glory(2005)
Malaysia Forum presents a panel discussion on films and how Malaysians see themselves.
Date: Saturday, April 30, 2005
Place: Lyman TV Room (ground floor of Lyman Residence Hall, Stanford University).
Program: 12:30 - 2:00pm Film screening: The Big Durian
2:00 - 4:00pm Panel discussion

Past Event

A meet-up with...

Dr. Koh Tsu Koon
We are delighted to have the Chief Minister of Penang Dr. Koh Tsu Koon meet with Malaysia Forum members. Dr. Koh will share stories on how he got involved in public service, politics and his experiences in serving the country, the state and the people. We can also keep abreast of the current happenings in Malaysia. He may also talk about his administration's interaction with civil society in Penang. Come grab this rare opportunity to meet this remarkable person, join us in this event!
Date: 3/20/2005 (Sunday)
Time: 2.00-4.00pm
Venue: Lyman TV Room, Stanford University (121 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305) map
Host: Theen Theen Tan
Contacts: or

Light refreshments will be served
Past Event

Special Film Screening

We hope that this event will bring together MF old-timers as well as those interested to know what the Forum is all about.

Quality snacks and drinks will be served

Some other pointers about the film

starring Lee Eng Kew

When: Friday, Jan 28 2005, 8pm
Where: Mountain View, CA
How: To RSVP, and get the venue/direction, email
Something about the film
This highly-acclaimed file tells the true story of a self-taught field historian by the name of Lee Eng Kew, whose research methodology is unique. By studying the biographical engravings found on the tombstones of lcoal figures, he forms a picture of their lives. Through this connection with the past, he comes to understand the history of Taiping and its vicinities.

"Ah Kew The Digger vividly recalls a time when people, instead of waiting for hand-outs, carved themselves into the landscape, carved the landscape around them." -- Pang Kee Teik,

Past Event

Malaysia Forum 2 Brainstorm Session

12/09/04 (Thursday)

7.00pm - 9.00pm

Niny's Apartment
in Mountain View.
(Please RSVP Sim to get directions)

If you need a lift, please let / know.

Stanford Malaysia Forum is embarking another voyage to organize Malaysia Forum 2. We believe that building a civil society requires participation from the masses, which include each and everyone of us. Therefore, we would like to invite you to join us in this endeavor. It is through participation and learning that we will grow the most.

Brainstorm topics:

  1. Why do we want to organize Malaysia Forum 2?
  2. What can we do in this second forum?
  3. How can we achieve our goals?
Please RSVP with so that we know who is coming. Thank you!

Stanford Malaysia Forum would like to welcome the new students for fall 2004 in the Bay Area!

A meet-up with John Pang

9/30/04 (Thursday)


Charis's Apartment
(Please RSVP her to get address)

Topic of discussion:
Education / ICT Policies in Malaysia.

Malaysia Forum is proudly organizing another gathering with an outstanding Malaysian. He has close ties with the Bay Area. He is a stanford researcher. He is one of the Malaysia Forum founder too. After going back to Malaysia, he joined the Ministry of Education and become the special officer for the Ministry of Education. His main task is to advise Education Minister Hisamuddin Tun Hussein Onn. Now, he is an important person who formulate and implement many of our important education policies.

Malaysia Forum would like to welcome John Pang.

This is a gathering where old friends and new friends meet together. We treasure the old relationship and we welcome new friendship. Light snacks will be served. (Please have dinner before coming).

Past Event
Important! This event is in Los Angeles. (The next one is at Bay Area)

Merdeka Day - "Sessi Suai Kenal"

Location: USC (University of Southern California)
Taper Hall of Humanity (THH) (room TBA)
Date: Sunday, August 29, 2004

Time: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm (with break between 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm)
Directions to USC and Map of USC

Contact: Please contact Syamsul.

Syamsul says:
From the 110 Northbound
Exit Adams
Take a left onto Adams
Take a left onto Figueroa (south)
Pass Jefferson and turn right into Gate 3
Park in the parking structure to the left, there is a $6 charge
From the 110 Southbound
Exit Adams
Go straight, you'll hit Figueroa, take a right (south)
Pass Adams
Pass Jefferson and turn right into Gate 3
Park in the parking structure to the left, there is a $6 charge
After you park
Once you've parked exit the parking structure the way you came in, and turn left (i.e. away from the gate). Walk along the path and you'll be walking toward three buildings. The one slightly to the left of the end of the path is VKC, it has red brick, and a tall tower on top of the building with a large golden globe on the top of the tower. On the right of VKC is SOS, it's very short, and to the right of that is a very tall building. Right behind these buildings is THH (Taper Hall of Humanities). This is the building you want. It's very long, and L-shaped. Towards the right is an overhang and some glass doors, go in there and follow the signs to the correct room. Rooms beginning with 1 are on ground level, rooms beginning with 2 are upstairs.

* Merdeka Potluck *

Location: Abdullah's home
Date: Sunday, August 29, 2004

5pm: Keropok and tidbits
6pm: Real food, introductions, discussion to begin immediately.

Topic of Discussion: We're reading a draft paper by a UKM professor entitled Malaysia Dilemma, Malaysian Despair. Send us an e-mail to get a copy of it. Be prepared to discuss the following questions.

  • What is your ideal Malaysia? What are the values that we would like to see manifested in our society?
  • How do we, in a realistic way, move towards a greater discussion and implementation of these values? How do we get politicians to move beyond racial based politics?
  • How do we create a system which is flexible enough to accommodate future values that might be found of more importance?
  • What are the greatest threats to Malaysia? What are possible solutions?

Abdullah says: Please RSVP what you're bringing. Halaal main dishes preferred and bring senduk for your food. If you can't cook, come anyway.

Planning Meeting [ Bay Area 2004-2005 ]

The Stanford Malaysia Forum will be having its Planning Meeting for the upcoming academic year.

a g e n d a
  1. LA trip. Brief update from people who were there.
  2. Logistics for next year. Open positions:
    1. Treasurer, to keep track of money and help the president deal with Stanford red tape.
    2. Webmaster, to help Jiin Joo and eventually take over web-related functions. This is the main part of the meeting.
    3. Hosts for various events.
    (If you cannot make the meeting, but are interested, e-mail .)
  3. Merdeka celebration, to be held on the weekend before Merdeka. Discussion of details.
  4. New student recruitment. Ideas so far:
    • Setting up a booth at GOALIE (the grad students' activities fair) and the corresponding one for undergrads.
    • Many orgs set up booths in White Plaza the first week before school. This is a bit labour-intensive for an org our size.
    • What is M@S planning? Perhaps we can conbine.
    • Anything else?
  5. 'Research-based community'. Discussion of Syamsul's proposal.
  6. Possible dinner conversation:

Questions: Changing role of Islam in Malaysia? How is this influenced and influenced by recent international events? 'What can we do?'

Interested? The meeting will be held at Charis's apt on 1 August 2004, 4pm-6pm, and dinner will be after the meeting. RSVP if possible!

Planning for Malaysia Forum II

Weekend Camp at Claremont Graduate University

Date: July 10 - 11

Time: 10 pm - 2 pm next day (tentative)

Location: CGU, Claremont (30 minutes drive from Los Angeles)

After having a successful Malaysia Forum event in Stanford University a few months back, a few inspired students have approached us to have similar dialogues and forums in the vicinity of Los Angeles. In order to impart our knowledge and experiences organizing such an event, we're planning to have an overnight camp at Claremont Graduate University on the 10th and 11th of July.

This is promised to be an enjoyable weekend, but be warn, it'll be intense and fun! We'll be doing multiple rounds of group discussions, brainstorms, sharing, debating, and not forgetting a full night of games and food!

As we're trying to come up with the actual cost of the meet up, we would like you to tell us if you're interested in attending. We're not expecting a large group (20 is plenty) so you'll get a chance to interact with everyone by the end of the day.

Therefore, if you think you're interested in organizing the next Malaysia Forum event, please send us an e-mail at . We'll be sending out another e-mail about details of the event only to those who have responded (as well as our annoucement mailing list).

Program, Details and Pictures

National Service

We'll be having a small reading group discussion on the recently implemented National Service in Malaysia. Please RSVP. Details as follows:

When: Sunday 9 May 2004, 6:00 PM

Where: Chee Hoi's house, San Jose

Food: Potluck style! Bring food, (again, halal please)

Reading: Government, Participants, Observers, Foreign Media.

Homestyle Sunday Dinner with Elizabeth Wong

Malaysia Forum welcomes a special guest from Malaysia this weekend. Miss Elizabeth Wong, a prominent figure in Malaysian civil society, will be in the Bay Area for a few days. After graduating from Australia, she turned down lucrative corporate jobs to work for non-profit organizations in Malaysia. Idealism and determination have driven her to work relentlessly for the poor and the powerless. She's currently the Secretary-General of our National Human Rights Society (Hakam) and she will be giving a talk in Stanford on Monday (Apr 5, 12:00pm - 1:15pm).

Details as follows:

When: Sunday 4 April 2004, 7:00 PM

Where: Charis's apartment - please send e-mail to for address.

Who: Our host is Charis. If you need a lift, let her know too!

Food: Halal dinner (Mainly roti canai, curry chicken etc.) You're encouraged to contribute some dishes, snacks or drinks.

Please RSVP - we're limiting to 25 person only!

Celebrate Malaysian Democracy!

Join us as we chat about the ups and downs of this past elections. In the true spirit of Malaysian democracy, we'll be having a potluck! Details:

What: Post-Election Analysis Potluck

When: Sunday 21 March 2004, 6PM

Where: Charis's apartment - please send e-mail to for address.

Who: Our host is Charis. If you need a lift, let her know too!

The Post-Mahathir Malaysia  
Civil Society at the Dawn of a New Era
Venue: Bechtel International Center
Stanford University

422 Lagunita Drive, Stanford CA 94305 (map | directions)
Online Registration Form

Print Registration Form
Microsoft Word Document (~ 40 KB)

Students Sponsorship Application

Speakers' Bio

Topic of Discussion Overview
Date/Time: February 29, 2004 (Sunday)
12:00pm - 4:00pm
Speakers: Professor Donald K. Emmerson
South East Asia scholar, Senior Fellow,
Stanford Institute for International Studies
Professor Patricia Martinez
Islamic scholar, Senior Research Fellow,
Asia-Europe Institute, Universiti Malaya
Dr. M. Bakri Musa M.D.
Surgeon, Malaysian political observer, Writer
Professor Bridget Welsh   [NEW]
Assistant Professor, Southeast Asia Studies,
Johns Hopkins University - SAIS
Speakers' background
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Political Economy
  • Education
Are you coming as a Student living Outside the Bay Area? Do you know that you can apply for some financial assistance? Check out the Students Sponsorship Application right away!
  More overview on topics of discussion. This will be a highly interactive workshop. Participants will get both the benefit of listening to experts on Malaysia today and expressing their concerns and ideas on the four main issues above.
11:30am - Registration Begins
12:15pm - Panel Introduction
12:30pm - Panel Discussion
01:45pm - Group Discussion: Each group given a specific topic (race, religion, poli-econs or education)
03:00pm - Group Presentation: Each group presents their findings, Q&A follows each topic of discussion
04:00pm - General Discussion (e.g. on hot topic of the day)
04:20pm - End of Forum
04:30pm - Adjourn for dinner at Lyman Commons (map) (until as late as 8:30pm)

Malaysia, the meeting point of Asia's greatest cultures, has been a unique country. Instead of a cultural melting pot, different cultures have been coexisting harmoniously and races of different backgrounds have been working closely to create a nation that they can be proud of.

The path since independence has not been smooth, many tough lessons have been learnt and the current issues plaguing Malaysia are of global concerns: the interactions of religion, race, politics and economic development; and the antidote developed will have great impact in the course of all mankind. Western model has seen successful example in the East, however, how such model could be adopted in Malaysia where the diversity and dynamic interactions of the diverse components have had no parallel in the West?

This event, with Malaysian civil society in focus, aims to promote greater understanding of the civil society, foster constructive discussions and provide avenues for greater participation of interested parties. The social issues that Malaysia faces are universal issues that can be better understood through the varied experiences of the global community. We therefore welcome all interested individuals and groups (regardless of religion, ethnicity or nationality) to participate in this endeavor.

Refreshments will be served

[ Sign up for this event by February 22 ]
If you are interested in helping us financially, please use the button below to send us money via Paypal. If you reather write us a check, please address the check to Stanford Malaysia Forum. We thank you for your generosity in advance.
Press Release
Coming soon...
Malaysia Forum
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