Congrès Mondial des Études sur le Moyen-Orient et l'Afrique du Nord

Barcelone, du 19 au 24 julliet 2010


Islam in Malaysian Politics: Issues and challenges (423) - NOT_DEFINED activity_field_Panel

· NOT_DEFINED institution: Universiti Putra Malaysia (Malaysia)

· NOT_DEFINED organizer: Zaid Ahmad

· NOT_DEFINED language: English

· NOT_DEFINED description: Relations between Middle East and the Southeast Asia particularly in the Malay Archipelago can be traced as early as early as 14th century, when Islam made its initial inroad into the region. Since then, the Malay world had gone through the process of Islamization. Since then, Islam gas played significant role in shaping the culture and values of the Muslim Malay. Upon independence 1957, Malaysia’s political landscape has been dominated by two major Malay Muslim-based political parties, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and the Pan Malayan Islamic Party (PMIP or PAS). The former, established in 1946, with its coalitions took control of the government and become the ruling party ever since the first election 1955, while the later, established in 1951, also entered the 1955 election but has never been success to secure popular votes. Throughout the five decades of independence, power struggle between these two Muslim-based parties had been coloring the Malaysian political setting. Since the first election 1955, both parties had gone through ups and downs in their political trajectory, but one interesting feature is that, religion (read: Islam) has always been at the centre stage of their political appeals and campaigning. The centre of ‘conflict’ between the two parties is that each one adopted a different ‘approaches’ towards implementation Islamic teachings and practices. This panel will address and highlight major issues with regards to the role of Islam in Malaysian politics. The first paper will speak about Islam and ethnic politics in Malaysia. The second paper will discuss the polemic between the politics of Islam and Islamizing politics, referring to the two major Malay Muslim-based Political parties UMNO and PAS. The third paper will highlight issues encircle Islam and plural society in Malaysia. The forth paper speak about the problems and challenges of interreligious referring to relations between Islam and other minority religions.

Chair: Zaid Ahmad (Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia)

Paper Presenter: Jayum Jawan and Md Salleh Md Said Kruak (Universiti Putra Malaysia), “2008 General Election: Another phase of Islam and Ethnic Politics in Malaysia”
This paper analyzes the outcome of the 2008 general election in terms of Islam and ethnic politics in Malaysia. These include political cooperation between different ethnics and religious background that had resulted in a significant impact in the election. The study shows that the National Front coalition led by UMNO has adopted conciliatory approach toward the demands of the Muslim because of the pivotal role of the Muslim vote in the electoral process.

Paper Presenter: Mohammad Agus Yusoff and Suhaimi Ibrahim (National University of Malaysia), “The Politics of Islam or Islamizing Politics: The Case of United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) and the Islamic Party (PAS)”
This paper will be dealing with the polemics between the politics of Islam or Islamizing Politics in relation to political stance adopted by the two Malay-Muslim based political parties the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and the Pan Malayan Islamic Party (PMIP or PAS). To what extent that the two parties have propagated Islamic appearance in their political campaigning? How did they response to the concepts such as Islamic state and the implementation of Islamic law based on their understanding of Islam? These would be the central questions addressed in this paper.

Paper Presenter: Nik Hairi Omar and Azhar Ahmad (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia), “Islam in a Plural Society: The Malaysian Experience”
Religio-ethnic plurality has been the characteristic of Malaysian society. Managing this sort of plurality has always been a challenge to Malaysian political leaders particularly since independence 1957. In the federal constitution, Islam is the religion of the Federation, but other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation. After five decades of independence, the ability to prosper, to live in peace, tolerant and harmony, and to maintain stability within the diversified nature of the Malaysian society made it possible to speak about Islam in the context of plural society of Malaysia.
The paper will actually try to present the role and position of Islam as the official and dominant religion of the state in the context of Malaysian plural society. The main line of argument is that, as a dominant religion, Islam is is seen to be one of the important factors that have major impact on social stability and harmony. In the same line, this paper will argue that some of the basic doctrines in Islam (which promotes peace and harmony), together with the Malay Muslim traditional culture have continuously played significant role in promoting good relations between people of various religious background with reference to the experience that had undergone by the Malaysian society.

Paper Presenter: Azmi Awang and Lajim Ukin (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia), “Interreligious Relations in Malaysian Politics: Old Problems and New Challenges”
This paper seeks to discus inter religious relation in Malaysian politics. It will engage in a deeper analysis on the problems encountered since independence 1957 with regards to inter religious relations particularly in political sphere. This paper will also foresee some of the new challenges facing Islam and Muslim and other minority religions in Malaysia. It is argued that, recent development has somehow raised some sort of inter-religious tension which will potentially disrupt communal harmony and nation-building, apart from posing threat in terms of national security.
This paper is actually meant to discuss interreligious relations with reference to Malaysian politics. The basic argument is that, religion is seen as one of the major determining factors in the Malaysian political scenario. Although Islam is religion of the majority, the Muslim-based political parties will not be able to win the election without supports from other non-Muslim religious minorities. This paper will bring into light the nature of relationship between the majority Muslims and other religious minorities in terms of political cooperation. How the Muslim-based political parties could establish political coalitions with "secular" parties in their political strives would be the interesting point. In the same vein, this paper will address some of the old problems encountered by these political parties with regards interreligious relations issues and how they deal with new challenges in order to establish a better cooperation and stronger political coalition and finally to win the election.