Social Movements in Malaysia: From Moral Communities to NGOs

Social Movements in Malaysia: From Moral Communities to NGOs

Social Movements in Malaysia: From Moral Communities to NGOs

Social Movements in Malaysia: From Moral Communities to NGOs

Synopsis

This book considers the proliferation in Malaysia over the past two decades of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) associated with various social movements, both to provide basic information about the NGOs and social movements, and to discuss their role in the development of civil society generally in particular their contribution to the reform movement, which has been gathering strength since 1998. The book discusses the nature and development of the movements, and shows that those movements concerned with human rights and women's issues have made significant contributions to the reform movement and been irrevocably changed by their involvement in it.

Excerpt

This volume on Social Movements in Malaysia grew out of a perceived serious lack in the literature. While non-governmental organisations (NGOs) associated with various social movements have proliferated over the past two decades in Malaysia, with interest in these bodies growing apace, few texts critically assess what these movements are and how they have fared. the aim of this book is thus twofold. First, the volume will provide a starting point for interested individuals - researchers, prospective volunteers and others - regarding the state of civil society and social movements in Malaysia, providing very specific information about the principal movements. Second, the volume will offer contributors and readers who are themselves activists a chance to evaluate how much their efforts have achieved and how movement strategies could be improved.

This book took shape during a particularly tumultuous time for Malaysian civil society. the Reformasi movement engaged the time and attention of activists and analysts, including most of our contributors. While this movement perhaps slowed progress on this volume, it made the book ever more critical, as awareness of civil society and especially NGOs - their range and their potential - skyrocketed throughout Malaysian society. Some movements have remained relatively unchanged in their aims and strategies since the onset of the Reformasi movement in late 1998. Others, such as the human rights and women’s movements, have been irrevocably changed and revitalised, adopting more aggressive strategies and attracting a broader, more highly committed base.

Contributors to the volume are either social movement activists or academics concerned with civil society and the non-governmental sector, or both. Perhaps reflecting demographic trends both among social activists and among the academics who study them, most of the contributors to this volume are women. We asked that each contributor

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