Australian High Commission


Australia-Malaysia Youth Forum 2015 engages youth leaders on current topical issues

More than 70 Malaysian and Australian youth leaders participated in the Australia-Malaysia Youth Forum held on 14 May. The half-day forum was organised by the Australian High Commission in partnership with the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) as part of the High Commission’s year long program of events and activities commemorating the 60th anniversary of Australia’s diplomatic presence in Malaysia.

The forum focused on Australia and Malaysia’s approaches to common issues including terrorism, trade liberalisation and freedom of speech.

In the opening session, Monash University’s Global Terrorism Research Centre International Director Professor Greg Barton and International Islamic University Malaysia’s Centre for Foundation Studies Department Member Mr Ahmad El-Muhammady discussed the rising threat of extremism in the region, and Australia and Malaysia’s approaches to curbing the threat and countering the narrative of extremist groups.

During a panel discussion moderated by IDEAS Chief Executive Officer Mr Wan Saiful Wan Jan, Malaysia Australia Business Council Chairman Mr Leigh Howard and Member of Parliament (MP) for Klang YB Charles Santiago debated the pros and cons of trade liberalisation and economic integration.

In a final session on freedom of expression, participants explored Australia and Malaysia’s approaches to balancing freedom of expression and social cohesion.

In his welcome address, the Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia HE Mr Rod Smith provided an overview of the extensive cooperation between Australia and Malaysia and said he hoped the youth of both countries would continue to enhance the relationship.

"We hope this forum will encourage the participants to think about how much Australia and Malaysia have in common and what we can learn from each other moving forward," he said.