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  • Writer's pictureBait Al-Amanah

Conference on The Middle East and The Malay World: Contemporary Issues and Future Challenges

Wednesday - 19 October 2022: Bait Al Amanah co-organised with Asia Middle-East Center (AMEC), Asia West-East Center, and Akademi Pengajian Melayu Universiti Malaya, hosted an International Conference with a focus on History, Politics, Culture, Philosophy, Art, Finance, and Literature are among the categories being presented.

The structure of the conference centered around the panels including the Malay world and the normalisation of the Zionist regime, the Malay world and its relations with the Islamic world focusing on the relative relations between Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the Malay world and its relations with major powers focusing on the United States and China.

Minister Wan Junaidi, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, delivered the keynote speech. Alongside the conference, Asia Middle East Center (AMEC) also had its official launching ceremony officiated by Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar.

Session 1 kicked off the International Conference with the topic of The Malay Archipelago in the Muslim World: Relations with the Middle East where the speakers highlighted the ability of the Malay World to put forth its civilisation based on historical success rather than based on the Middle East as the indicator of developments in the Muslim World. One of the speakers also highlighted the potential of the Malay World to redefine the terms of Islamic civilisation considering the political instability of the contemporary Middle East involving multiple factors.

Session 2 was conducted on the topic of The Malay World and the World Powers: The United States and China where it brought together academicians and a politician to discuss the nuances of the major powers' influence on a small state like Malaysia. The speakers highlighted the importance of Malaysia not siding with any pact to maintain neutrality and minimise the risks impacting our trade relations with the world.

Session 3 discussed the topic of Malaysia and Indonesia on Palestine issues where scholars and humanitarian practitioners came together to discuss the development of longstanding conflict in Palestine and the relations to Malaysia and Indonesia as a Muslim nation depsite the geographical distance between these countries with one another. The speakers highlighted the amalgamation of solidarity the Malay world has displayed are indeed astounding as compared to reactions by the neighboring countries. This effort must be continued in hope of defending the rights of the oppressed people of Palestine.

Throughout the conference, several potential areas of work were explored through collaboration and cooperation to harness mass public attention towards the Malay World and the Middle East relations to produce evidence-based research materials for a stronger impact on advocacy works.

We believe that Malaysia needs to enhance the diplomatic relations with countries in the Middle East to produce constructive ramifications and find pragmatic ways to communicate its concerns to various key stakeholders involving the region. This includes efficiently addressing the human rights violations through Malaysia's soft power approach while preserving our nation's strong stance in economic, investment, and cultural aspects as a Muslim world in Southeast Asia.

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