Opportunities in Democratic Transitions: World Movement Convenes Civil Society in Malaysia

August 6, 2019

On July 9, 2019, the World Movement brought together cross-sector leaders to consider civil society’s role in democratic transitions at an event entitled “Regaining Democratic Momentum: Stories from Malaysia and the World,” in celebration of the World Movement’s 20th anniversary. The event featured a discussion between TV host Sharaad Kuttan and Anwar Ibrahim, a former political prisoner and the leader of Malaysia’s governing coalition. Ibrahim reflected on Malaysia’s challenges in undergoing a democratic transition and highlighted his reform priorities moving forward, with a focus on good governance and economic issues.

In addition, panelists considered how civil society activists can take responsibility for building accountable institutions by transitioning to roles in government. In the case of Malaysia, “the most important contribution civil society activists made in [crossing over into party politics] was bringing in our values,” noted Sivarasa Rasiah, a well-known human rights activist and the current Deputy Rural Minister of Malaysia. To learn more about the event, check out #WMD20Years on Twitter.