About us

Malaysia is at a cross-roads today. Something is stirring in the psyche of the people.

They are starting to come out and reclaim the basic rights that they have lost over the years. They are now waking up and demanding meaningful change: more democratic space, greater accountability, respect for human rights.

Aliran identifies with this natural quest for justice in all aspects of public life. Indeed, that has been the core of our struggle since the society was established on 25 January 1977, making us Malaysia’s oldest human rights group. Aliran has had Roster (A1) Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations since 1987. And in 1997, Aliran started its website.

Aliran Kesedaran Negara (Malay for National Consciousness Movement) is Malaysia’s first multi-ethnic reform movement dedicated to justice, freedom and solidarity. (What the name Aliran means.) Listed on the Roster of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (A1 – Roster Consultative Status) since 1987, Aliran has a consistent record of championing democratic reforms. (Why Aliran?)

Bersih co-chair Pak Samad and steering committee members Subramaniam Pillay and Toh Kin Woon addressed an Aliran high tea in Penang on 29 April, a day after Bersih 3.0. The Aliran Singers also performed! All photos (c) 2012 Lye Tuck-Po

Guided by universal spiritual values, our struggle focuses on building genuine unity by upholding human dignity and promoting social justice for all Malaysians.

Since 1977, we have been planting the seeds of public awareness of critical political, economic and social issues. Over the years, we have lobbied hard for wide-ranging reforms in all aspects of public life. Today, the stirring cries of “Reformasi!” ring out for all to hear.

For 33 years from 1980, published Aliran Monthly, Malaysia’s leading independent English-language news magazine. With 40 pages of independent articles and in-depth analyses, it was a ‘must read’ for all those concerned about what is really going on in Malaysia. In 1997, we launched our website and by 2015, after the Monthly ceased publication the previous year, we went fully digital, focusing on reaching out to even more Malaysians via this website, social media and e-newsletters.


Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara (literally, ‘society for the flow of national consciousness’) was launched in Penang on 12 August 1977 by seven concerned Malaysians from various ethnic backgrounds. Today, we are a national reform movement with members, friends and supporters from different parts of the country.

Position in Malaysian society

Aliran is the first movement of its kind in the history of our country. We are multi-ethnic in our philosophy, policies, programmes and membership – unlike most movements in the past, which were confined to one community or another.

We have a holistic, comprehensive concept of change which is not bound to any particular time frame. Most movements so far have been concerned with specific issues for short periods of time. (Aliran’s first 25 years)

Besides, Aliran’s struggle for social justice is guided by a universal spiritual world-view which makes it different from other groups whose foundation is either strictly secular or religious in a sectarian sense.

Most of all, Aliran is not involved in electoral competition for power and position. In this way, we hope to preserve and protect our role as a social educator dedicated to the evolution of a new social order.

Relationship with other groups

At the gates of the dreaded Kamunting Detention Camp near Taiping: Aliran joined forces with 35 other Malaysian NGOs to call for the immediate repeal of the harsh Internal Security Act, which permits indefinite detention without trial Aliran is an independent, autonomous movement. We are not linked to any political party, trade union, community organisations or civic association. Aliran, however, believes in actively co-operating with other groups on particular issues with specific objectives in mind.

Aliran also belongs to these networks:

  • Abolish ISA Movement (GMI) (now dormant)
  • Abolish Sedition Act Movement (GHAH)
  • Charter 2000: A Malaysian Citizens’ Media Initiative (now dormant)
  • Coalition Against Health Care Privatisation (now dormant)
  • Coalition Against Water Privatisation (now dormant)
  • Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0)
  • Oppressed People’s Network (Jerit)


Aliran work centres on raising public awareness on important issues affecting Malaysians and promoting the quest for a more just soceity. We disseminate our idiea via this website, social media tools, our print publication Aliran Monthly, media releases and e-newsletters.

Aliran members and supporters help to despatch the Aliran Monthly magazine

Occasionally, we organise talks for the public or send our officials as speakers or participants to forums organised by other groups. We also serve as a co-ordinating body or secretariat for appeals and campaigns on specific social and human rights issues. More recently, we held a series of Young Writers Workshops to encourage younger Malaysians to express themselves on critical national issues.

Penang Bersih 3.0 Rally from tp Lye on Vimeo.

Aliran is an important source of independent information on Malaysia for political analysts, academics and others interested in what is really happening in the country.


The supreme authority of the movement is vested with its annual general meeting (AGM), usually held in November. The AGM provides broad guidelines for the Executive Committee to work on.

The Executive Committee is elected at the AGM and consists of 15 members – President, Honorary Secretary, Assistant Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer and 11 members. All officials are eligible for re-election.

Aliran Executive Committee 2014/2015

PresidentDr Francis Loh
Hon SecretaryDr Mustafa K Anuar
Assistant Hon SecretaryHenry Loh
Hon TreasurerAnil Netto
Committee membersP Ramakrishnan
Dr Prema Devaraj
Sarajun Hoda Abdul Hassan
Andrew Wong
Dr Andrew Aeria
Ridfan Abdul Hamid
Dr Faisal S Hazis
Prof Zaharom Nain
Dr Christopher Chong Eu Choong
Joel Gurprit Singh
Dr Ngu Ik Tien
Honorary auditorDr Subramaniam Pillay

The formulation of policies and the general administration of the movement are among the many responsibilities of the Executive Committee. In the actual implementation of activities, the executive committee is assisted by a number of bureaus. Each bureau is in charge of a certain activity.

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