The unexpected outbreak of a global pandemic, COVID-19, swept throughout every region in the most unanticipated way. Like other countries in the region, both Bangladesh and Malaysia are still struggling to get past the crisis as the spillover effects of the pandemic have compounded the recovery process forcing everyone to search for alternative means to cope with the crisis as well as to embrace the new normal towards a better future. Amid the crisis, regional connectivity and cooperation have never been as crucial and for this, the unification between the two neighbouring regions in Asia appears as a matter of great significance.
In light of the above, School of Liberal Arts & Science, Taylor’s University, Malaysia and the Centre for Genocide Studies, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh jointly organized a successful webinar entitled "Understanding Asian Transformation: Civilizational Linkages". This webinar is the first of a six-series initiative between the two institutions to further discuss on issues, gaps and to venture into unchartered territory that concerns Malaysia and Bangladesh in particular and to extend the conversations of South and Southeast Asia in general. It is moderated by Dr. Wan Puspa Melati, a Senior Lecturer at the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Taylor’s University.
This webinar initiative co-organised with the oldest International Relations department in South Asia is part of the plan for Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) in International Relations towards its official launch in March 2021. Through the opening and welcome speeches, Associate Professor Dr. Anindita Dasgupta, Head of School, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Taylor’s University, Malaysia as well as Professor Dr. Imtiaz Ahmed, Director, Centre for Genocide Studies, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh welcomed the guests of honour and participants as well as shared the rationale and plan for the webinar series.
This webinar is an important initiative for Taylor’s University to bring together scholars, policymakers, civil society organizations as well as concerned citizens for exchange and interaction between Bangladesh and Malaysia as well as inter-regional between South and Southeast Asia in general. Besides expanding on knowledge capacity, this webinar series is also useful in identifying potential crucial areas that Malaysia and Bangladesh can work together for the mutual growth and gain via research, policy paper, consultancy to Government and NGOs and collaboration in international Crisis Response project (2021).
This webinar was launched by the Acting High Commissioner of Malaysia to Dhaka, Mr. Amir Farid Abu Hasan and Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh – designate to Kuala Lumpur, Mr. Mohammad Khorshed A Khastagir who both in their launching remarks acknowledged and applauded this initiative. The keynote speakers for this webinar were Datuk Dr. Shamsul Amri Baharuddin, Distinguished Professor and Founding Director of Institute of Ethnic Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Malaysia and Professor Syed Jamil Ahmed, Professor at Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The speakers critically discussed the definition of civilization, (re)examining the contributing factors as well as contextualizing the role of culture and migration towards civilizational linkages. The ideas were further debated by the discussant, Professor Dr. Imtiaz Ahmed, who is also a Professor of International Relations, Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
You can watch the webinar at this link: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/v=676448659923251&ref=watch_permalink