Now that Aliran has celebrated its transition from the 33-year-old Aliran Monthly print magazine to aliran.com, members at Aliran’s 38th AGM today discussed how the group could carry out more research on current issues.
The AGM also firmed up a proposal to set up a research unit to provide reliable data on current pressing socio-economic and political issues like GST, income inequalities, federal-state relations and worsening ethno-religious relations.
These were among the highlights of the discussion at the AGM today.
Former professor of politics Dr Francis Loh retained his position as Aliran president. Similarly Dr Mustafa K Anuar, Henry Loh and Anil Netto were re-elected as honorary secretary, assistant secretary and honorary treasurer respectively.
Members also elected the following to the executive committee: P Ramakrishnan, Dr Prema Devaraj, Andrew Wong, Dr Andrew Aeria, Ridfan Abdul Hamid, Dr Faisal S Hazis, Dr Ngu Ik Tien, Prof Zaharom Nain, Sarajun Hoda Abdul Hassan, Dr Christopher Chong Eu Choong and Joel Gurprit Singh.
Dr Subramaniam Pillay was elected honorary auditor.
In his keynote address, Loh first discussed some disheartening developments like the recent use of the Sedition Act to arrest and charge leaders of the opposition and independent-minded intellectuals and academicians.
He also expressed concern about the lack of resolution over the contestation between the Sharia and the civil law, although cases of body-snatching and disputes over child custody first surfaced over 10 years ago.
Although it appears as though the situation is worsening, he argued that there has been a positive undercurrent in the direction of New Politics as evident in GE13 last year, in the vibrancy of social movements and in the consolidation of an autonomous public sphere.
Although the Monthly has ceased publication, Loh said that the alternative ideas contained in the print magazines would continue to be disseminated via digital and social media and through occasional publications. This is the rational for the research unit which will continue to analyse current trends.
Dr Mustafa K Anuar
23 November 2014