If you’re in Canberra and would like to know more about Malaysia’s foremost Islamic party, drop by to hear Professor Joseph Liow speak on “The Dynamics of Internal Politics in The Islamic Party of Malaysia: Reform and Realignment”.

The Islamic Party of Malaysia has now become a force to be reckoned with and forms the backbone of Pakatan Rakyat. While Anwar Ibrahim’s political skills are critical to PR success, without PAS, PR’s chances of winning the next general election will be severely dented. The details on Professor Liow’s talk follow:

The Islamic Party of Malaysia or PAS has been an enigma for scholars of Islamism and Muslim political movements. On the one hand, the party leadership remains resolute in its insistence that its ultimate objective is the formation of an Islamic state in Malaysia, complete with /shari’a/ and its attendant penal codes. This objective holds even for the more moderate “professionals” in their ranks. On the other hand however, PAS is also demonstrably increasingly comfortable with discourses on democratization, justice, accountability, rights, and transparency – the benchmarks, as it were, of Western understandings of democracy. In addition to that, PAS has also repeatedly declared its commitment to mainstream political processes in spite of the significant obstacles that the Malaysian political system has placed in its way, and has deepened cooperation with non-Muslim parties and civic groups. This presentation hopes to unpack and explain this enigma by discussing how it reflects internal political dynamics that have emerged as a result of the party’s recent electoral success.

Dr Joseph Chinyong Liow is Deputy Dean of Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. His research interests is Muslim politics in Southeast Asia with an emphasis on Malaysia and Thailand, foreign policy and internal conflicts in Southeast Asia, Malaysian domestic politics and Islamisation of resistance in Thailand and the Philippines. He published widely on Malaysian politics, Muslim politics in Thailand and Philippine.

Speaker/Host: Prof Joseph Liow
Venue: PSC Reading Room, Level 4, Hedley Bull Centre, Building 130, ANU
Date: Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Time: 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM
Enquiries: Lyn Ning on 6125 4790