Co-founded in 2016, Imagined Malaysia was initially intended to be a research project based on the alternative history of Malaysia and Southeast Asia. However, the tremendous support we gained from various donors, academics and peers encouraged us to expand our goals.
Since then, we have organized countless forums and dialogues, exhibitions, and published our annual journal in an effort to push historical discourse in Malaysia. We hope to participate in the effort of creating public awareness and education about the differing narratives and stories that may be omitted from the official/master history. This is to not only change our understanding of the nation’s history, but to deepen and evolve it to have a more inclusive and rich discourse. The crucial point for us to organize this project is to address some of the present concerns regarding historical literacy in Malaysia. There is a lack of contestation in the perspective of historical events taking place at the current moment in the public sphere – whether in the form of writing, lectures or even debates.
Hence, we wish to re-popularize interest in attaining knowledge by drawing means of what the region’s intellectual history has to offer. In the long run, we hope that this will be a platform that promotes the role of activist-historians in public education as well as a source of encouragement and inspiration for Malaysian youth to have a critical appreciation for history.
Netusha Naidu is the co-founder of Imagined Malaysia. She recently completed an undergraduate degree in International Relations in University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, with a dissertation titled “‘Sly Civility’ and “The Lazy Malay: The Discursive Economy of British Colonial Power during the Pahang Civil War, 1891-1895”. Netusha has been awarded the Tunku Abdul Rahman Fund and is currently pursuing a MPhil in World History at the University of Cambridge.
Jeremy Lim, secretary and project coordinator for Imagined Malaysia, works on themes of political economy and capitalism in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. He is also a researcher at the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development and the Jeffrey Cheah Institute for Southeast Asia. His other interests include the international political thought of the left and democratic systems. Reach him at: email@example.com
Dennis Ong is usually driven by his curiosity to venture out and learn about all things cultural and historical. During his free time, he goes out to photograph what fascinates him and anticipates the unexpected. Currently, he is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Visual Arts at University of Malaya. His interests besides history includes mysticism, cultural practices, and architecture of both ancient and modern times.
Kalash Nanda Kumar is currently pursuing his postgraduate studies in English Literature at University Malaya. Over the past six years, he worked in media and journalism while occasionally moonlighting as a researcher. He has done work on a wide range of areas covering legal institutions, indigenous rights, terrorism and environmental issues. During his free time, he enjoys reading the works of post-colonial thinkers. Reach him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Charles Brophy is a graduate of political science and international relations. Charles is now more interested in the history of Southeast Asia, and particularly the development of capitalism, the history of political thought and movements of the left.
Qaleeda Talib graduated from Oxford with a B.A. in History. Whilst she currently works in management consultancy, her goal is to eventually advocate for policies that support the growth of museums and institutionalise them as centres of education and research. She also hopes to advocate for a more methodology-driven approach to the study of history to move away from polemic-driven study. She lists governance, museums, and history of religion as her interests.
Samantha Ho is a writer and journalist with an interest in economics, development and inequality. Her curiosity in history stems not only from its importance in explaining patterns and changes, but because its varying narratives make for compelling stories. Samantha aims to tell these stories through her work in Imagined Malaysia and beyond.
Samuel Phang studied psychology at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. He currently works at as an administrative assistant at an international school and brings to Imagined Malaysia years of experience working in IT companies, schools, and NGOs. During his free time, he enjoys singing hymns and cloud computing. Sam is our Matrix guy.