Thursday, October 29, 2015

ISDEV RESEARCH DISCOURSE: TALK ON "THE STATE OF MUSLIMS IN SINGAPORE"

Associate Professor Dr. Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied from Department of Malay Studies,
National University of Singapore
Associate Professor Dr. Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied from the Department of Malay Studies, National University of Singapore (NUS) gave a talk at the recent ISDEV Research Discourse on 19 October 2015. The charismatic Assoc. Prof. Dr. Khairudin shared the findings of his research and observations on "The State of Muslims in Singapore". The talk held at Conference Room C06, School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and was chaired by ISDEV Deputy Director, Associate Professor Dr. Zakaria Bahari.
Associate Professor Dr. Zakaria Bahari (centre), the chair person for the day.
The two-hour long discourse was divided into two parts. The first part saw Assoc. Prof. Dr. Khairudin Aljunied delivering his talk explaining and sharing his research findings and experience on the current state of Muslims in Singapore. He chose to address the participants of the discourse in an informal way as he welcomed a two way communication throughout his talk.
Assoc Prof. Dr. Kahirudin's passion and enthusiasm on the topic were apparent throughout the discourse
The Muslims in Singapore are the minority in Singapore. However he noted that some of the challenges faced by the Muslims in Singapore are similarly faced by those in Malaysia. He also acknowledged that some of the issues uniquely faced by the Muslims in Penang specifically are the self-same issues faced by the Muslims in Singapore. Issues such as the dearth of intellectualism, hanging dearly onto some detrimental Malay customs especially in wedding receptions (as opposed to the ideal Islamic way), drugs, increasing trend in divorce rates, single mothers, lesbianism and the role of parents in family especially of those concerning men were among the issues he highlighted.

In addition he shared  his personal views on one main factor as how the Muslims in Singapore could be strong and overcome the seemingly insurmountable problems that need to be tackled. He expressed the need and importance for the Muslims in Malaysia especially to stay united to be strong as there is the tendency of the Malay Muslims in Singapore to look up to Malaysia. He justified his statement by citing the importance of the strong da'wah movements in the late 70s until early 90s which saw the latching of Islamic spirit to the Muslims in Singapore.

However he noted that the labeling of ideologies within the Muslims in Malaysia leading to the formation of factions within has definitely marred any attempts for the Malay Muslims to be united and strong. As a force to be reckoned with, when the Muslims in Malaysia are united and strong, such strength and force will surely have a rippling effect in the region causing a definite overflow of such vigor and energy to the Muslims in Singapore.
A cozy and comfortable atmosphere at C06 albeit the venue was overly full-housed
A little after an hour of his talk, a fellow academician from the School of Social Sciences, Puan Zainab and a few RISDEV (ISDEV Postgraduate by Research) and MISDEV (ISDEV Postgraduate by Mixed-Mode) students kept the enthusiasm displayed by the guest speaker with some pertinent questions and views on the topic of the day during the second session of the discourse. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Khairudin answered and responded all in his stride and ended the discourse with a positive note on his mission through his intellectual sojourn to bring his message on the need for all Muslims in this region to solidly stay united. Staying through to his passion and task at hand he is currently appointed as Visiting Professor at the University Brunei Darussalam (UBD). The programme ended at 4.30 pm with a simple high tea for everyone who came for the ISDEV Research Discourse.

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