On 9 August 1965, Singapore separated from Malaysia after a brief and very difficult period of merger. Since then, Singapore-Malaysia relations have undergone moments of cooperation and contentions. Currently, ties between both countries are highly positive with an increased focus on cooperation and successful resolution of several longstanding disputes. In order to gain a proper understanding of Singapore-Malaysia relations over the past 50 years, it is necessary to examine the history of both countries prior to 1965. During this seminar, Professor Khoo will provide an outline on the relationship between Singapore and the Malay Peninsula since the 19th century up till 1965 before the separation. He will explain why the formation of Malaysia was not an easy process, and share his perspectives on how the break-up between both countries helped Singapore to develop considerably into a successful nation-state. The seminar will also discuss the prospects and challenges to Singapore-Malaysia relations.
About the Speaker:
Professor Tan Sri Dato Dr Khoo Kay Kim is a highly regarded Chinese Malaysian academic and an expert on the history of Malaysia. Presently, he is an emeritus professor in the history department of the University of Malaya. Professor Khoo was born in Kampar, Perak, Malaysia, on 28 March, 1937. He received his Bachelor, Masters, and Doctoral degrees in 1960, 1967, and 1974 respectively from the University of Malaya. At the same University, he became the Professor of History of Malaysia from 1975 to 1992, a position he held for 17 years until his retirement in 1992. Professor Khoo was also formerly the Chancellor of KDU University College. As a well-respected scholar in Malaysia, his views on national issues are often sought for and heard by the government. He is the one of the co-authors of the Rukun Negara, a set of national principles which was instituted by royal declaration in 1970 to promote the unity and harmony of various races of Malaysia after the racial riots on 13 May 1969 in Malaysia.