Ohio University

Recent Activities

Professor Jayum Anak Jawan, the 15th Tun Abdul Razak Chair, was involved in a wide range of activities at Ohio University and around the world during his time serving as the Chair. Each of the links below provide additional information on several of the activities he was involved in.

Tun Abdul Razak Chair hosts special seminar on Malaysia-US-China Relations under the Trump and Xi Administrations
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Tun Abdul Razak Chair Professor Jayum Anak Jawan, in collaboration with the Ohio University Center for International Studies and the Faculty of Human Ecology at the Universiti Putra Malaysia, hosted a Tun Abdul Razak Special Seminar on Malaysia-US-China Relations under the Trump and Xi Administrations on July 18, 2017 at the Universiti Putra Malaysia.

Prof. Dr. Heng Pek Koon of the American University, Washington D.C., spoke at the event on the topic of “Malaysia-US-China Relations under the Trump and Xi Administrations”.
She posed a tough question: How do U.S. and China relations with Malaysia help advance Najib’s geopolitical, security, and economic objectives, and strengthen Najib’s National Front (BN)’s electoral position in the coming 14th Parliamentary General Election (GE14), and at the same time showed how China’s role in Malaysia’s economic development is important in Malaysia’s domestic politics as well as the important of US presence in Southeast Asia in order to bring about balance and political stability to Malaysia and the region as a whole.

Prof. Heng is Assistant Professor & Director, ASEAN Studies Initiative, School of International Service, American University, Washington, D.C. She received her PhD from London University's School of Oriental and African Studies and her MA and BA from Auckland University. In addition, she runs the  Insular  Southeast  Asia Advanced  Area  Studies Program at the  United  State  Department  Foreign  Service Institute, which prepares US  Foreign  Service Officers for assignments in the region. She is currently updating her research on the implications of China's  Maritime  Silk  Road initiatives for the  Malaysian Chinese business community and for the future of Malay-Chinese relations.

The talk was moderated by the immediate past Tun Abdul Razak Chair, Jayum Anak Jawan, who ended his 2 years term as the 15th TARC at Ohio University, Athens, in June 2017, and has since returned to Universiti Putra Malaysia.

Courtesy visit to the Education Malaysia office in London
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Tun Abdul Razak Chair Jayum Anak Jawan visited the Education Malaysia, London office in Queensborough in June of 2017.

While there, Professor Jayum met with Associate Professor Dr. Zainal Abidin Sanusi, who is the Director of Education Malaysia, London. The weekend visit provided the opportunity to share the work that the Razak Chair has been doing at Ohio University to raise the profile of Malaysia and to share the Malaysia narrative among the U.S. audience in Ohio and around the US.

The visit was in conjunction with a brief stop over as Professor Jayum headed back to Malaysia after a successful 2 years sojourn as the 15th Tun Abdul Razak Chair. He was then scheduled to report back to the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) on July 1, 2017.

Tun Abdul Razak Chair speaks at the US Department of State, Foreign Service Institute
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Tun Abdul Razak Chair Professor Jayum Anak Jawan concluded his term as the 15th chair holder with a lecture for US diplomats undergoing their in-service training at the US Department of State Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, VA. He was invited to give a lecture on “Current Issues in Malaysia”.

The participants were provided a brief background on Malaya’s independence and later the formation of Malaysia and were showed why inter-ethnic bargaining was important in Malaysia’s history. Professor Jayum then proceeded to share a number of his observations. First, he argued that the increasing expression of ethnic sentiment could only be expected as each group looks and promotes its own issues and concern. He believed that this parochial outlook will wane in “post Malaysia” children who are far removed from the bad experiences of their forebears. These children of Malaysia will rise above ethnicity and take a patriotic/ nationalistic perspective instead of ethnocentric/ regionalistic approach favored by their forebears.

Second, he sees the issue of governance as a major challenge and an area Malaysia needs to work a little harder to ensure that there is independence and integrity in its process of governing in order to promote respect for the rule of law. Third, he spoke of electoral stability that has been attained over the last two general elections (e.g. 2008 and 2013), and therefore he does not expect any more major changes in the coming general elections that Malaysia must hold by next year, 2018.

The US diplomats who attended his lecture comprised those who will be taking up their positions in Malaysia and countries in Southeast Asian. The discussion were very lively and highly diplomatic. What do you expect from diplomats?!

This is the second invite from the US Department of State. Previously, Professor Jayum was also invited to an analytic executive exchange for the US Ambassador to Malaysia, HE Kalama Shirin Lakhdhir.

Tun Abdul Razak Chair participates in East Coast Festival 2017
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Tun Abdul Razak Chair and Visiting Professor of Political Science Jayum Anak Jawan took part in the East Coast Festival 2017 on March 10-12, 2017.

The East Coast Festival, held at Penn State University in State College, Pennsylvania, brought together 600 Malaysian students studying in various universities in the eastern part of the United States.

The three-day event was officiated by the Malaysian Ambassador to the U.S., HE Tan Sri Zulhasnan Rafique. In addition, various officers and their families from government agencies and sponsors such as the Education Malaysia, MARA which have offices based in Washington D.C., and the Malaysia’s Consul-General from New York, attended.

During the dinner reception to welcome delegates to the gathering, Jayum gave an address on “TN50 and A Vision of a United Malaysia”. He spoke of the need of young people to come forward and give their view on how they want Malaysia to be in the next 30 years. For this they must come out with idea to be incorporated into the National Transformation agenda that will shape Malaysia in the next 30 years to come.

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Their input, he opined, was important as they alone can help shape a better, and a truly united Malaysia because they are not unlike their forebears who were heavily burdened with many baggage that removed the latter from rationalities and objectivities.

The young people, he argued, do not share this unpleasant, past experiences and should therefore be better equipped to propel Malaysians of various backgrounds to greater height of unity and therefore position Malaysia as a global player. 

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Tun Abdul Razak Chair participates in U.S. State Department panel discussion
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On Feb. 7, 2017, Tun Abdul Razak Chair Professor Jayum Anak Jawan participated in the Executive Analytic Exchange panel discussion on Malaysia for the newly appointed US Ambassador to Malaysia, HE Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir. The closed door exchanges were attended by staff of the US diplomatic services whose areas of concern is Malaysia and its surrounding neighbors.

Two main aspects of the executive analytic exchange focused on domestic politics and foreign affairs. Jayum covered contemporary politics and how the present domestic scenario would affect the coming general elections in Malaysia. In this aspect, he discussed the pattern of voting among the Malay, Chinese and Indian as well as among the indigenous of Sabah and Sarawak. He argued that voting behavior change among the Malays, Chinese and Indians of the Peninsular has reached its plateau in the past two general elections held in 2004 and 2008, and that no significant change in voting pattern in the Peninsular can be expected to come about. Thus he envisages that any change that is significant enough to affect a major change in domestic politics would come from the indigenous of from Sabah and Sarawak. This he further argued would decide who would win and have the necessary support to form of the next government after the next general elections that must be held by the middle of 2018.

Other US experts on Malaysia and the southeast Asian region more generally from State University of New York at Albany, the University of British Columbia, Canada, the Paul Nitze School of International Studies and US private think thanks such as Center for Naval Analyses and from the magazine “the Diplomat” also attended

Tun Abdul Razak Chair visits with Malaysian Ambassador to the U.S.
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Tun Abdul Razak Chair Professor Jayum Anak Jawan paid a courtesy call on the 15th Malaysian Ambassador to the United States, HE Tan Sri Dr Zulhasnan Rafique, in February of 2017. The appointment of the new Malaysian Ambassador to the United States was announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in late December 2016.

Jayum took the opportunity during the visit to brief the Ambassador on the history of the Tun Abdul Razak Chair that was established by the Government of Malaysia in 1980, and which has since its establishment sent 15 senior Malaysian academic for a two-years term attachment at Ohio University, Athens. 

The 15th TAR Chair also informed the Ambassador that the next main event he organized is the International Conference on “Malaysia and the World: Cross-Regional Perspectives on Race, Religion and Ethnic Identity”. The conference will bring together leading scholars from the US, Europe and Malaysia.

The Ambassador was also briefed that the Conference will bring eight leading scholars from Malaysia to interact with their US and European counterparts. Jayum also extended an invitation on behalf of Ohio University to the Ambassador to come and visit the campus and at the same time give a talk for the benefits of the academic community in Athens.

Courtesy call upon the Malaysian Ambassador to Spain - Madrid, Spain, December 2016
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While taking a Christmas break 2016 in Europe, Tun Abdul Razak Chair,Jayum Anak Jawan made a courtesy call upon the Malaysian Ambassador to Spain, HE Dato’ Kennedy Jawan in Madrid.

The visit gave the Razak Chair the opportunity to brief the Malaysian Ambassador about the history of the chair and the recent activities. It also gave Razak Chair the opportunity to attend the Ambassador’s and Datin Kennedy’s Christmas Open House and have the chance to get to know a little about the guests at their Christmas open house.

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Perdana Scholar Award 2016
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Tun Abdul Razak Chair & Visiting Professor of Political Science Dr. Jayum Anak Jawan was a panelist in a Forum held in conjunction with the hosting of the Perdana Scholar Award 2016 iat the Embassy of Malaysia in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 4-6.

At the Forum, Professor Jayum spoke on the changing political landscape in Malaysia, its causes and how this new landscape will shape politics and inter-ethnic relations in years to come. Professor Jayum also commended the good relations and networking among Malaysian students from various ethnic background and expressed the hope that this inter-ethnic ties that they have developed while studying here in the United States be carried over when they return home.He also reminded the students that as future leaders of their communities and country, the continued success of Malaysia depends on them working closely together.

The event was attended by student leaders and representatives from universities across the United States.

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The highlight of the event was a dinner presentation ceremony that honored undergraduates who excelled in various categories such as studies, sport, entrepreneurship and co-curriculum activities. The Ministry’s Deputy Secretary-General, Dato’ Kamel Mohamad, gave away the prizes, representing the Minister who was unable to come due to a last minute urgent engagement.

Tun Abdul Razak Chair meets with Malaysian Ambassador to Japan
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Tun Abdul Razak Chair and Visiting Professor of Political Science Dr. Jayum Jawan took part in a courtesy visit with the Malaysian Ambassador to Japan, HE Dato Ahmad Izlan Idris in Tokyo recently.

During their informal meeting, Professor Jayum informed HE that he is the current  & 15th Tun Abdul Razak Chair holder for the academic session 2015-2017. The Ambassador was also briefed on the main activities of the chair that are scheduled to take place at Ohio University. These activities include the Graduate Colloquium on Sept. 15-17 and the International Conference on Malaysian Studies scheduled for March 14-16, 2017.

Professor Jayum requested HE’s good office to help identify and recommend Japanese graduate students and scholars who are working on Malaysian subjects for both events that are being planned for Ohio University. The attempt to bring Japanese graduate students and scholars to the two events is in effort to enrich the perspectives on Malaysian studies by having non-Malaysians attend these events and share what they do and think on the Malaysia subject that they are currently working on.

The Tun Abdul Razak Chair and his family were later treated to a sumptuous Malaysian dinner by the Ambassador and his wife at a leading Malaysian restaurant, owned and operated by a Malaysian.

International Conference on Revisiting & Reconstructing Southeast Asian Characteristics at Busan University of Foreign Studies, Busan, South Korea, May 27, 2016, B`UFS
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Tun Abdul Razak Chair & Visiting Professor of Political Science, Prof. Dr. Jayum Jawan was invited by Emeritus Prof. Dr. Victor T. King to take part in the International Conference on Revisiting & Reconstructing Southeast Asian Charaacteristics, in South Korea in May.

At the conference, Dr. King organized a panel on “Continuities and Transformation in Southeast Asia".

During the conference, Dr. Jayum delivered a paper titled "Understanding Political Contestation in Malaysia," where he argued and showed how ethnic dimension is still very important in understanding political contestations in Malaysia.

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Also during the conference, Tun Abdul Razak Chair Professor Jayum discussed how these tools have been more intensely used of late compared to any period before in history as they become easy to politicize and use to attract followers.

Razak Chair serves as panelist for April 20, 2016 symposium

Ohio University’s Tun Abdul Razak Chair Professor Jayum Jawan served as a speaker for one of the panel discussions at the “Symposium on China and the United States Economic, Trade and Cultural Cooperation in ASEAN,” at American University in Washington, D.C. on April 20, 2016.

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The full-day symposium was organized jointly by Malaysia’s private think tank, Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI) and the ASEAN Studies Initiative of the American University, Washington D.C.

Speaking on the theme “US-China-ASEAN Cultural and Educational Cooperative Initiatives” Prof. Jayum acknowledged the importance of United States’ presence in Southeast Asian region to balance the rising Chinese power in the region. This was to ensure China be balanced by another super power to ensure continued peace and stability of the region. Nevertheless, he also spoke of the need of the United States’ presence in the region to be based on consulting ASEAN partners to ensure that the interest of the region is considered in any decision.  Jayum also spoke of Malaysia’s diversity and its huge Chinese population as an asset that may be a leverage in dealing with China.

The panel was chaired by Assistant Professor Dr. Erin Collins of the School of International Service of the American University, while fellow panelists included Robin Diallo, Director, Office of Public Diplomacy, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, Dr. Wang Huiyao, President of the Center for China and Globalization, and Elaine Kok, Program Director and Business Council Secretariat of ASLI.

Professor Jayum Jawan takes part in April 19, 2016 U.S.- Malaysia forum at American University
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Tun Abdul Razak Chair Professor Jayum Jawan served as a panelist for the “Malaysia-United States Forum: Toward a Comprehensive Partnership,” held at American University in Washington, D.C. on April 19, 2016.

The half-day forum was organized jointly by Malaysia’s private think tank, Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI), the Malaysia-America Society based in Washington D.C. and the ASEAN Studies Initiative of the American University.

Speaking on the theme “Enhancing Malaysia-U.S. Political, Diplomatic and Security Cooperation: What’s Next?” Prof. Jayum spoke on how commonly held values between Americans and Malaysians will help enhanced good bilateral relations. He listed common values such as subscription to democracy, good governance, attempts at inclusivity, promotion of diversities and the pursuit of moderation, especially amidst the rising threat from extremism. 

Prof Jayum was joined in the panel discussion by Murray Hiebert, the Deputy Director and Senior Fellow of the Southeast Asia Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington D.C., and Assist. Prof. Dr. Pek Koon Heng, who is the Director of the ASEAN Initiative, School of International Studies of the American University and Vice President of the Malaysia-America Society. The panel was chaired by Dr. Michael Anderson, who is a board member of the Malaysia-America Society.

Tun Abdul Razak Chair lectures on "Patriotism and Intellectualism" at Second East Coast Festival 2016
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Tun Abdul Razak Chair & Visiting Professor of Political Science, Prof. Dr. Jayum Anak Jawan gave a presentation on “Patriotism and Intellectualism” at the Second East Coast Festival 2016, held on March 11-13, 2016 at Ohio State University.

Around 500 Malaysian students took part in the festival, which was jointly organized by student associations from various universities in the midwest region and sponsored by various Malaysian government agencies such as the Embassy of Malaysia in Washington D.C., Ministry of Higher Education’s offices in Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington D.C. and Mara.

The festival was graced by HE Datuk Seri Dr. Awang Adek Hussin the Malaysian Ambassador to the United States.

Tun Abdul Razak Chair lectures at the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies on "Social Engineering and the State of Ethnic Relations in Malaysia"
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Tun Abdul Razak Chair & Visiting Professor of Political Science, Prof. Dr. Jayum Jawan spoke at the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies, University of California at Irvine on how Malaysia is shaping its nation building and how the strategy impacted upon the state of ethnic relations among the country’s diverse population.

The University of California at Irvine provided a good venue to discuss the topic due to its large numbers of students with diverse background.

In addition to the talk, Prof. Jayum had the opportunity to hold talks with graduate students of Prof Kamal Sadiq from the Political Science Department, and also a luncheon discussion with Prof Dr. Stergios Skaperdas, Professor of Economics and Clifford S. Heinz Chair, from the Economics Department.

Tun Abdul Razak Chair speaks at the November 2015 conference "21st Century Islam: A Malaysian Model" at Iowa State University
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The Forum was chaired by Rep. Lisa Heddens, Iowa State Representative (2nd right). Other speakers: Noripah Kamso, Global Practitioner in Residence at Iowa State University at Ames (left) and Azimah Aziz, Director of Education Malaysia Chicago (right).

Shown below is the Tun Abdul Razak Chair with Malaysian Students of Iowa State University, Ames, the main organizer of the Forum, November 14, 2015.

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Courtesy Visit to H.E. Ambassador Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin, the Malaysian Ambassador to the United States of America, Washington D.C., 10 October 2015
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Shown above are (from left to right) Jayum Anak Jawan, Tun Abdul Razak Chair & Visiting Professor of Political Science, Ohio University; Lorna Jean Edmonds, Vice Provost of Global Affairs & International Studies, Ohio University; Md Amin Md Taff, Director of Education Malaysia, Washington D.C.; Al Azharri Siddiq Kamunri, National Security Council Malaysia. Malaysian Embassy, 10 October 2015.

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ASEAN Studies Center and Malaysia-America Society
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The Tun Abdul Razak Chair spoke at the ASEAN Studies Center at American University on October 11, 2015. Shown above are (from left to right) Jayum Jawan; Thomas J. Reckford, Emeritus President, Malaysia-America Society, chairing the talk; Prof Dr. Heng Pek Koon, of American University & Dep President of Malaysia-America Society. American University, 11 October 2015.

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