Maintaining Multicultural Harmony in Challenging Geopolitical Times: A Malaysian Perspective

Venue: Lónyay-Hatvany Villa - 1. Csónak str., 1015 Budapest

On November 10, 2023, Danube Institute will host two academics from Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, or UTAR University, and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (The National University of Malaysia, UKM) for a lecture on Malaysia's geopolitical role in the Asian Pacific region and the current economic and social policy of 'MADANI,' or civic order and good governance.

Prof. Dr. Cheng-Chwee Kuik will examine the geopolitical role in his lecture, Malaysia amidst the China-Quad Rivalry: Why do Smaller States Hedge?

Prof. Dr. Cheng Ming Yu will examine the economic environment in a talk entitled, Malaysia's Path to Sustainable and Inclusive Growth: From Vision 2020 to Malaysia MADANI

Malaysia is a successful, middle-income, post-colonial state formed after 1957 from the former British colonies in peninsular Malaya and the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, separated by the South China Sea. Malaysia borders Thailand in the North and Singapore and Indonesia in the South and East. It is located right in the middle of the US-China-India rivalry along the strategic choke point of the Strait of Malacca. Together with Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia, it is a founding member of the region's most important multilateral arrangement, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)

MADANI, or 'civil Malaysia', is the current official governing policy. After a series of bitterly contested elections since 2018, which saw the collapse of the Union of Malay National Organization (UMNO) long domination of Malaysian politics, the current ruling coalition seeks to build a new political consensus based on good governance, sustainable development, and racial harmony,

With an ethnic composition comprised of a majority of Muslim Malays and a significant minority of Chinese, Indian, and Eurasian communities, as well as ethnic Dayak, Kadazan, and Iban Christian minorities in West Malaysia, the federation is a delicate confection of four major Eurasian civilizations. The relations between these civilizations in the outside world will impact the relations between these groups in Malaysia itself. How will the Malaysian model perform in an era of religious and ethnic-oriented conflict?

 Since the 1980s and the era of rapid Asian growth, Malaysia has emerged as a resource-rich Asian tiger economy. Despite several financial crises since 1998 and the 1MDB corruption scandal that engulfed the ruling Najib government after 2013, Malaysia's economy and standard of living have reached that of the V4 countries. How did it achieve this rise? And what combination of policies can sustain its growth moving forward in a region confronted by its close economic ties with a rising China and its security links with both the US, UK, and Australia? Our guests will seek to address these questions.


  • Prof. Dr. Cheng Ming Yu - Professor at the Faculty of Accountancy and Management (FAM), Director of the Institute of Management and Leadership Development (IMLD), and Chairperson of the Belt and Road Strategic Research Centre (BRSRC) at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Malaysia
  • Prof. Dr. Cheng-Chwee Kuik - Professor of International Relations and Head of Asian Studies at the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS), National University of Malaysia (UKM). He is concurrently a non-resident Fellow at Johns Hopkins SAIS Foreign Policy Institute
  • Dr Csaba Horváth - Danube Institute Senior Researcher; historian and political scientist, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • Dr Eric Hendricks - Danube Institute Visiting Fellow; sociologist, an alumnus of the University of Chicago and Peking University, and researcher of Chinese political world conceptions, The Netherlands
  • Moderator: David Martin Jones - Director of Research, Danube Institute

Language: English

Date: 10 November 2023, 6.00 PM
Venue: Lónyay-Hatvany Villa - 1. Csónak str., 1015 Budapest

Participation in the event is free, but registration is required, which can be done by email at events@danubeinstitute.hu or by clicking on the R.S.V.P. button:

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