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.

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. As the stirring cries of “Reformasi!” rang out for all to hear in the late 1990s, we redoubled our efforts.

In 1997, we launched our website and by 2015, after the Monthly ceased publication the previous year after a run of over three decades, we went fully digital, focusing on reaching out to even more Malaysians via this website, social media and e-newsletters.

And today, after regime change, we have a new Malaysia. But our struggle continues.

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
  • Coalition Against Water Privatisation (now dormant)
  • Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0)
  • Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM)
  • Oppressed People’s Network (Jerit)
  • Penang Forum


Aliran ‘s work centres on raising public awareness on important issues affecting Malaysians and promoting a more just society. We write and publish articles on our website, through social media and newsletters, and previously the Aliran Monthly print magazine.

We also act in coalitions with other civil society groups to campaign for democratic reforms. More recently, we have held a series of talks, young writers workshops and film screenings to reach out to younger Malaysians.

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.