Virtual event


Wednesday, 21 October, 2020 – 16:00 to Friday, 23 October, 2020 – 14:30

The Malaysia Update is one of the most well-known conferences on Malaysia outside of the country, and builds on ANU’s commitment to research in the field of Malaysian studies. This annual event is hosted by the ANU Malaysia Institute. 

About this event:

The 2020 Malaysia Update comes at a time of public-health, political and economic crisis globally. Malaysia too is facing unprecedented challenges, with political alliances shifting and restructuring, the economy contracting sharply during COVID-19, and many people at risk of losing their lives and livelihoods.

The Malaysia Update will be held virtually via Zoom, in collaboration with KiniTV, and brings together distinguished speakers from Malaysia and Australia for the latest developments, debates and challenges, in search of urgent alternative visions for the future of Malaysia. To register click here.

Event schedule

Political Update: Can youth change Malaysian politics?

Date: Wednesday 21 October 2020
Time: 4.00PM-5.30PM AEDT (1.00PM-2.30PM MYT)


  • Qyira Yusri, Co-founder of Undi18, Organiser of Parlimen Digital
  • Lim Wei Jiet, Lawyer and Co-founder of the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (MUDA)
  • Mahirah Marzuki, Program Coordinator of UndiSabah


  • Dr Ross Tapsell, Director, ANU Malaysia Institute

Economic Update: Impact of COVID-19 on the vulnerable groups in Malaysia

Date: Thursday 22 October 2020
Time: 1.00PM-2.30PM AEDT (10.00AM-11.30AM MYT)


  • Dr Muhammed Abdul Khalid, former Economic Adviser to the former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, author of The Colour of Inequality: Ethnicity, Class, Income and Wealth in Malaysia (2014)


  • Prof Dr Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Senior Adviser at the Khazanah Research Institute
  • Tricia Yeoh, CEO of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS)


  • Stewart Nixon, PhD scholar, ANU Crawford School of Public Policy

Cultural Update: Art, culture, grief and loss in a time of crisis

Date: Friday 23 October 2020
Time: 1.00PM-2.30PM AEDT (10.00AM-11.30AM MYT)


  • Jo Kukathas, writer, director, actor and Artistic Director of The Instant Cafe Theatre Company


  • Dr Simon Soon, Senior Lecturer, Visual Arts Program, University of Malaya


  • Dr Show Ying Xin, Postdoctoral Fellow, ANU Malaysia Institute