As Aliran completes its transition from Aliran Monthly to aliran.com, we join hands with our faithful friends, supporters and readers in rededicating ourselves to the cause of Justice, Freedom and Solidarity.
The Aliran Executive Committee delivered the following message in the souvenir programme distributed to over 500 diners at the Aliran bash in Penang on 11 October 2014:
Dear friends and fellow Malaysians
Greetings and welcome to this evening’s celebration.
It has been 37 years since the formation of Aliran, and 33 years since Aliran Monthly (initially published as Aliran Quarterly) first hit the streets of Penang!
The theme of our celebration this evening is Justice, Freedom, Solidarity. These have been the principles that Aliran has stood by and upheld throughout these long years. And as we transit from the era of Aliran Monthly (AM) to the new era of aliran.com, from Old Politics to New Politics, it is important to remind ourselves what we stand for, what we believe in.
When Aliran was formed in Penang on 12 August 1977, we were one of a small number of NGOs which sought to engage with social and political issues.
Since then, Aliran has conscientiously promoted the expansion of an autonomous public space and the consolidation of a Malaysian civil society that is imbued with universal values like justice, freedom and solidarity; that is driven to build community instead of individuality, not merely rapid development but sustainable development with equity, and to be inclusive of all, not exclusive and certainly not extremist. In this regard, Aliran has always adopted a non-sectarian spiritual perspective which emphasises the universality of all humankind.
For 37 years, we have challenged the dominant discourses of political, social and economic development orthodoxies and attempted to be a source of alternative analysis. Our critical thinking on new and perennial issues has been presented in talks and forums and carried in the AM for 33 years.
Alas, the AM that we are distributing this evening is the final copy that we shall be publishing. It was only after much soul-searching, but also tallying the costs of production and distribution, that we came to this painful decision.
That said, this is also a time of celebration! It is indeed an achievement for us to have successfully produced a monthly magazine of some quality and relevance for 33 years. The support we have had from our readers (despite some complaints about articles being too long!) and from our writers who have written pro bono is something we will always cherish.
In this last issue, we recall the history of the AM. We also situate the story of the AM in the context of the evolving world, not least, the arrival of globalisation at our doorsteps and the new IT that accompanied it. We further highlight the issues that we have covered these 33 years. All told, this is a useful guide, if not an index, to the AM. The last part of this final AM edition then introduces you to aliran.com, if you are not yet familiar with our website, our facebook, our tweets. Make sure you take home a complimentary copy of the AM.
On this auspicious occasion, we rededicate ourselves to the struggle and invite all Malaysians, especially all present to join us in this struggle for Justice, Freedom, Solidarity.
For your presence here tonight, your continued faith in Aliran, and your support as we make the transition from the AM to aliran.com, we thank you.