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Summary of RUU355 Meeting

Many thanks to Dr Kerstin Steiner for agreeing to speak at our Malaysiaku meeting in Melbourne last Friday. Dr Steiner specialises in Islamic Law in Southeast Asia and has written extensively on the topic. You can check out her work here: http://www.latrobe.edu.au/law/staff/profile?uname=KSteiner

We would like to apologise for not having a live stream of Malaysiaku as per usual, on request from Dr Steiner. We’ve decided to write up a summary of the talk to make up for it, and we’ve included some of our and the audience’s thoughts.

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Refugee Crisis: From Malaysia to Australia

There are more displaced people today than there have ever been – over 20 million people today find themselves forced from their homelands by war, poverty, famine and genocide. In this meeting, MPOZ looks at the refugee crisis facing Malaysia and Australia, and asks what brings a government to turn its back on and vilify the most vulnerable people on earth.

The Rohingya people are a Muslim minority in largely Buddhist Myanmar, who have been systematically brutalised by the military, even as the democratically-elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi refuses to intervene. The Malaysian Government has seen fit to use the Rohingya as a political tool, claiming that it champions the rights of Muslims around theworld.

Yet the government remains silent on the various other minorities in Myanmar, and turns away Rohingya boats from our shores. And of course, there remains resentment against the migrant population in Malaysia, who suffer abuse and exploitation from the government and from ordinary people even as they keep our cities running.

Australia’s record on refugee rights is no better. Since late 2013 it has been government policy to indefinitely detain all boat arrivals in offshore detention camps, in miserable conditions with no hope of resettlement. The way in which these refugees are scapegoated as a security risk, as job stealers and queue jumpers, is eerily familiar to Malaysians. From the refugee movement here we also see how people power can force an end to refugee cruelty.

Join us and find out everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the refugee crisis and the politics behind it! Snacks and prayer space provided, as always. All are welcome. Experience not necessary!

Malaysiaku Mar 3 – Trump, Racism and Malaysia

A big thanks to everyone who attended our first session yesterday! It was great to meet everybody and the discussion was excellent. This year we’re looking to post summaries of our fortnightly Malaysiaku sessions online for the benefit of those who could not make it. Last night’s discussion focused on understanding how Trump was able to win the US election, how his policies will likely affect Malaysia and what parallels exist between the Trump administration and UMNO in Malaysia under Mahathir and now Najib.

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MPOZ acknowledges the traditional owners of the land we meet on -

  • the Gadigal people of the Euroa Nation,
  • the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation
  • and the Ngambri people of the Ngunnawal Nations.

We pay respect to the Elders both past and present and extend that respect to other Indigenous Australians past, present and emerging.

The land was never ceded, and the struggle for Aboriginal recognition continues today. Always was, always will be Aboriginal Land.