Monday, November 23, 2009

Remembering MAF - that multiracial multireligious human rights group that stood for justice and human rights..(1993 - ...)

Malaysian Action Front (MAF) was an initiative that I was involved in to bring together a wide range of Malaysian groups to struggle for justice and human rights.The MAF, whose original coordinators was Annuar Tahir, Fan Yew Teng and Charles Hector (i.e.myself )was a a multi-racial and multi-religious group, made up of about 50 organisations that stood for justice and human rights. The group took positions on Burma, East Timur, Palestine, France, US, South Africa, Libya, etc. I must say that this was a very positive initiative, in the spirit of 1Malaysia (as Najib calls it today). The ability to sit down and discuss, and take position on all matters of human rights and justice. The MAF that came into being in 1993 slowly fizzled off ...but it is something that needs to be revived again... 

Malaysian Action Front (MAF) was different from a later grouping that  'stole' and later used the same name (Or rather they called themselves 'Barisan Bertindak Rakyat', which the media translated as Malaysian Action Front. - hence the confusion. The other group was involved in breaking into a 2nd Asia Pacific Conference on East Timor (APCET II) in Kuala Lumpur on 9 November 1996

 I scanned the internet, and found some reference to this original MAF. The groups in MAF included ABIM, SUARAM, Society for Christian Reflection, Persatuan Kebangsaan Pelajar Islam Malaysia(PKPIM), Parti Rakyat Malaysia(PRM), ALIRAN, Just World Trust, Majlis Belia Hindu Malaysia, Young Malaysian Movement(YMM), MTUC, Sahabat Alam Malaysia(SAM), Selangor Graduates Society (SGS), Third World Network(TWN), Women Force (Tenaganita), AWAM, Young Mens Christian Association (YMCA), Social Science Association of Malaysia (PSSM), University Malaya Muslim Staff Association, Persatuan Ulama Islam (PUM), Malaysian Methodist Youth Association, Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress, DAP Socialist Youth, Gerakan Belia 4B Malaysia, Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC), Briged Puteri, Consumer Association of Penang (CAP), Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semenanjung, Gerakan Belia 4B Malaysia, Majlis Kelab Bell Tamil Malaysia, Malaysian Youth Council (MBM) - some of the organisations  in the MAF were listed in an NST report, Public urged to boycott US Products

Malaysians Boycott U.S. Goods:

The Malaysian Action Front (MAF), a politically broad-based grouping of 50 nongovernmental organizations comprising some two million members, has called for a boycott of U.S. goods and products to protest against "American domination of the world, " according to Bernama, Malaysia's national news agency. MAF official Anuar Tahir said the boycott targets fast food chains, oil companies, soft drink producers, cigarette manufacturers and others, and argued that Malaysian government broadcasters should stop importing violent American films and cartoons. "These products symbolize American culture and U.S. political imperialism," Tahir said, adding that posters and pamphlets announcing the boycott were being distributed throughout the country. The U.S. is the largest foreign investor in Malaysia as well as the biggest market for Malaysian exports.-November/December 1993, Page 22, Issues in the News,

On 18 May, the Malaysian Action Front representing fifty-one Malaysian trade 
unions, political parties and human rights organizations, urged ASEAN to 
cancel its invitation to SLORC.  The ASEAN Ministerial meeting will be 
held in Bangkok in July.  The MAF said that ASEAN should not lend any
respectability or legitimacy to the military junta suppressing democracy and
human rights in Burma.  Lim Kit Siang, the leader of the Official Opposition
in Malaysia's Parliament, also urged the cancellation of the invitation.  He
said, ``Inviting Burma would amount to ASEAN condoning and endorsing the
undemocratic and repressive policies of the Burmese junta.''  The MAF said that
it was backing a call to ASEAN by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for 
Democracy to cancel the invitation [AP940518].- May 1994, No.5, Volume 5
        KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- The Malaysian Action Front,
a social activist umbrella group, has protested to the French government
over its ban on Muslim schoolgirls wearing their traditional headscarves
in class....
        The coordinator of the Front, Fan Yew Teng, handed the letter,
endorsed by 10 non-governmental organizations and affiliates, to the
embassy's first secretary Philippe Truquet.
        In the letter, the Front expressed deep concern over the decision
and said the action was a sad commentary of the social climate in France,
which prides itself as a center of civilization based on the principles
of liberty and fraternity.
        The ban reflected the French government's intolerance of the
cultural and religious traditions, values, belief and practices of
its minorities, it added... - 5/11/1994


Thursday, October 08, 2009 -

Universiti Malaya climbs 50 spots to No. 180 in THE-QS rankings
Posted by: km_rajkumar
Intersting that our leaders seem to be quite happy with UM's 'achievement'.... Remember NUS and UM were one only 47 years ago.
In just 47 years, UM has 'painstakingly' gone south (ranked 180) and NUS has proudly climbed north... (ranked 30).
But look  at the pride of the Univeristy of Malaya:
Notable alumni
King Edward VII College of Medicine/Raffles College era (pre 1949)
University of Malaya era (1949 - present)

Notable faculty members

  • Cyril Northcote Parkinson, a former professor of history at the University (1950 to 1960)
  • Royal Professor Ungku Abdul Aziz Ungku Abdul Hamid, who once served as the university's vice chancellor
  • Wang Gungwu, a former Professor of History at the Department of History (left UM in 1968). Prof. Wang is the Director of East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore.
  • Khairuddin Mohamed Yusof, a former Professor of University Malaya and also a former Head of Obstetrics and Gynecology Department of the University Hospital. Retired in 1997 and was honored with the title of Emeritus by the University. Professor Emeritus Dato Paduka Dr. Khairuddin bin Mohamed Yusof is the Director of Telemedicine Malaysia (World Care Inc)
  • Khoo Kay Kim, a former Professor of Malaysian History at the Department of History. Retired in 2001, a Professor Emeritus at the University.
  • Jomo Kwame Sundaram, a former Professor at the Faculty of Economics and Administration (left UM in 2004). Prof. Jomo is the Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
  • Ho Peng Yoke, a former Professor of Chinese at the Department of Chinese Studies. Prof. Ho is the Director Emeritus of Needham Research Institute, Cambridge.
  • C S Lim (aka Lim Chee Seng or Chee Seng Lim), a Professor in the Department of English at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. He is a specialist in Shakespeare studies and a member of the Executive Committee of the International Shakespeare Association.
  • Terence Edmund Gomez, an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Economics and administration. He is one of the six research coordinators at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development UNRISD.
  • The late Tan Sri Datuk Professor Ir. Chin Fung Kee, a well known authority in geotechnical engineering. Born in Nibong Tebal, he was the man who designed the Penang Bridge. He was the former acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Malaya.  

Source:  Star, 8/10/2009, Universiti Malaya climbs 50 spots to No. 180 in THE-QS rankings

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