This event will focus on the issue of how today’s Malay youths see themselves as members of their ethnic group in the context of Singapore’s current multi-ethnic and multi-religious society. Based on the preliminary analysis of a recently concluded research project that centres on a series of focus group meetings, this discussion will evaluate how these had contributed to the strengths or weaknesses of a young Malay person’s sense of identity, and whether these have had an impact on his or her subsequent affiliation with the ethnic group.
The Malay youth’s sense of belonging and appreciation of his or her ethnic group may determine the level of support that the individual will render to the community. To initiate the discussion, the session will first begin with a presentation of the findings from the study, which, among others, serve to explain the factors shaping these youths’ frame of mind when responding to the larger society. By the same token, the presentation will also identify the plethora of issues influencing Malay youth identity formation in Singapore today. Where possible, and in line with the overall theme of Singapore’s Bicentennial, comparisons will also be made to the responses of Malay youths on similar themes and issues in the past decades.
The event will be facilitated by Dr Shamsuri Juhari, Research Fellow with IPS at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and Principal Investigator for this project. This event will bring together youths who were participants of the focus group discussions, practitioners and decision makers on the ground, as well as policymakers and academics representing the different areas of concern for the Malay-Muslim Community.