The long journey to the just: my life, my struggle
I have divided my journey into eight phases. I begin with my early years and the influences that shaped my outlook on life. The period I was in school constitutes the second phase while my university years would be the third. Upon graduation, I joined a local university as an Assistant Lecturer, began to play a public role as a political commentator, and embraced Islam as my religion of choice. This fourth phase merges into the fifth phase with the formation of a reform group committed to the transformation of Malaysian society. After 14 years at the helm of this group, I felt the time had come to focus upon the changing international order, and together with some friends established an organization called Just World Trust which has now evolved into the International Movement for a Just World (JUST). While still in the sixth phase of my journey, I moved into party politics and became the Deputy President of an opposition political party. Because party politics was an altogether different experience from my NGO activism, I would regard this short phase as a phase in itself, the seventh phase. The eighth and final phase, which brings us to the present, sees me trying to combine my international activism with a renewed commitment to certain national concerns.
From each of the eight phases I shall draw some larger conclusions about activism and politics in Malaysia and in the international arena, as the case maybe. The interplay between the individual actor and his social milieu will also be analyzed. The study, in other words, hopes to offer some insights into the trials and tribulations that a citizen in the Global South will have to encounter in the quest for a better society and a better world.
Dr. Chandra Muzaffar is both a social activist and an academic. He is President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST), an international NGO based in Malaysia. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the 1Malaysia Foundation. He is the Noordin Sopiee Professor of Global Studies at the Science University of Malaysia (USM) in Penang. He has published more than 20 books on civilizational dialogue, international politics, religion, human rights and Malaysian society. Among Chandra’s latest publications are Hegemony: Justice; Peace (2008) and Religion & Governance (2009).