Public Lecture on “Freedom of Religion, Belief and Expression in Malaysia: Where Are We Headed?”

Date: 3rd February 2021 / Wednesday

Time: 2.00 pm – 3.40 pm

Topic: “Freedom of Religion, Belief and Expression in Malaysia: Where Are We Headed?

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Our public lecture will be delivered by  Dato Dr. Madeline Berma, a Fellow at the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM)  and Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM), to present on 2019 SUHAKAM annual report on freedom of religion, belief and expression (FoRB & FoE) in Malaysia that was not debated in the Parliament last year. The public lecture will highlight the latest developments on FoRB & FoE especially post-2018 general election and recommendations to improve thereof.

It will be followed by a discussion by Dr. Azmil Tayeb, a political science lecturer at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and a Q&A session with the participants.

We will also take this moment to launch and digitally distribute our multilingual #Kebersamaan campaign booklet available in English, Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and Arabic that features the outcomes gathered throughout our campaign project from the campaign video, opinion writings to a series of panel discussions and coffee talk, that also aims to be a guide for the state, society and business as a collective force to foster FoRB & FoE in Malaysia. 

Please see the full agenda as follows:

1.55 – 2.00 pm: Arrival of Guests
2.05 – 2.10 pm: #Kebersamaan Video Presentation
2.10 – 2.20 pm: Introductory Remark and #Kebersamaan Booklet Launch by Aizat Shamsuddin, Founder & Project Coordinator of KMU Malaysia
2.20 – 2.25pm: Speech by H.E. Aart Jacobi, Ambassador of the Embassy of the Netherlands to Malaysia
2.25 – 2.45 pm: Public Lecture by Prof. Madeline Berma, Fellow at Akademi Sains Malaysia (ASM)
2.45 – 3.05 pm: Discussion by Dr. Azmil Tayeb, Political Science Lecturer at USM
3.05 – 3.40 pm: Q & A with participants & Conclusion

Speakers’ Bio

| Public Lecturer |

Dato Dr. Madeline Berma, Fellow, Akademi Sains Malaysia (ASM)

She is a fellow at Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) and currently serves as Sarawak Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) Commissioner from 2019. The Government of Malaysia has appointed Madeline to 7 national-level consultative committees, among them are the National Unity and Consultative Committee (NUCC), Committee to Promote Interreligious Harmony & Understanding, National Heritage Council and  Committee on Education Policy Review. She served as Deputy Chair, Education Policy Review (Oct, 2018-May 2019). She was an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Economics and Management, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) until she retired in 2018. She served as the Director, the Tun Fatimah Hashim Women’s Leadership Centre, UKM from 2011-2016. She received her Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Hull, England; Masters of Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Bachelors of Economics from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.


| Discussant |

Dr. Azmil Tayeb, Political Science Lecturer at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)

He is a political scientist who has done extensive research on Islamic politics and social movements, particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia. Previously he was a Fulbright fellow based at a pesantren (Islamic boarding school) in South Kalimantan, Indonesia and an Erasmus Mundus fellow based at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. He was also a recipient of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Graduate Assistantship and the Australian National University’s doctoral research scholarship. His book “Islamic Education in Indonesia and Malaysia: Shaping Minds, Saving Souls” was published by Routledge in 2018. The book won the Colleagues’ Choice Award for Social Science at the 2019 International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) in Leiden, Netherlands. He is also the Secretary and Exco member of Aliran, a long-time peace and social justice organization.