Liberalism Survey: Findings and Forum Discussion
The event started on 28th July 2018 at 9.30 am with the registration by audience and media. Morning tea was provided while waiting for the event to start. Then at 10.00 am, Mr. Medecci Lineil started the event with introduction of Institute for Leadership and Development Studies (LEAD) as organizer as well as the objective of the event conducted before continued with next session. After that, Mr. Ehsan Shahwahid from Merdeka Center presented the findings of ‘Liberalism Survey’ followed by Q&A session for 30 minutes. He explained the survey findings of Malaysians general attitude towards liberalism in politics, social and economic. Mr. Ehsan also mentioned that the statistics indicates that Malaysians generally supports liberal ideas although most people are still confused with the definition of liberalism and see it as a western concept.
At 10.45 am, the event is continued with a forum discussion on the liberalism survey. The panellist of the forum was Mr. Shahrul Aman (Bersih 2.0), Dr. Wong Chin Huat (Penang Institute), YB Amin Ahmad (Member of Parliament) and Dr. Asma Abdullah (G25) and moderated by Tarmizi Anuwar (LEAD).
Mr. Shahrul Aman mentioned that the discussion of ‘liberalism’ only lingers around group of people with higher socioeconomic classes and it creates misunderstanding for those who did not involve or engage with the discussion. Dr. Wong Chin Huat, as he made further analyse the raw data, he argued the respondents may have provided ‘politically correct’ responses to some survey questions, while other questions may have been misunderstood. Next, YB Amin Ahmad discussed on why Malaysians argue over the word ‘liberalism’ as we, Malaysians do not being tolerate enough to one another. One race, one group have tendency to be superior than the other. Meanwhile, Dr. Asma added that Merdeka Center should consider conducting the survey through qualitative studies as a complement to their survey. She said so as to find out what laypeople mean by the word liberalism. The forum closed by Q&A session and ended at 1.30 pm.