Ungku Aziz and Syed Hussein Alatas were distinguished Malaysian academics. They are also considered to be among Malaysia’s greatest intellectuals. However, their social trajectories are distinct. Ungku Aziz was a favoured son of the administration, earning the title of Royal Professor while Alatas’ tenure as Vice Chancellor of University Malaya came to an abrupt end under a cloud of mystery. Were the different trajectories linked to their ideas they put forward? This seminar shall explore the ideas in the sphere of development, specifically on those ideas of economic development put forward by Ungku Aziz and Alatas. It then analyses these ideas through the framework put forward by Benda, Said and Gramsci to identify what “type of intellectual” both Ungku Aziz and Alatas were. It also compares and contrasts the impact their ideas had on policy making in Malaysia. The seminar will conclude with an explanation on why Ungku Aziz and Alatas had very different ends to their intellectual life.
About the Speaker:
Greg Lopez is a Research Fellow with the Murdoch University Executive Education Centre. Broadly, his research interests are in understanding the links between individuals, institutions, economic growth and sustainable development. More specifically, he is interested in how these links shape the political economy and institutional arrangements of countries “stuck in the middle income trap” in the Indo-Pacific region and Australia’s relationship with these economies.
Prior to this role, he has worked in various research and advocacy capacities with private consultancies, think tanks, and non-governmental organisations. He has extensive experience in the region (specialising on Malaysia), working on public policy issues involving economic and political reforms, and have undertaken in-depth research and analysis in these areas.
He has been educated both in Malaysia and Australia and holds a PhD in economics from the Australian National University.
He is also a fellow at the Asia Research Centre and a member of the Centre for Responsible Citizenship and Sustainability, both at Murdoch University’s School of Management and Governance in Perth, Western Australia. He also holds an ongoing visiting fellowship at the Department of Political and Social Change, College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University.