Press Releases

UKM launches Global Malaysian Studies Network (GMSN)
for Malaysian Studies

New programme provides a platform for an evidence based understanding of Malaysia

Bangi, Malaysia – 9 September 2021 – Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) have founded the Global Malaysian Studies Network (GMSN), a programme that encourages a richer and nuanced understanding of Malaysia with a positively balanced narrative at the international level. It incorporates a virtual fellowship programme that may be the new normal for international research and scholarship.

Under the direction of Distinguished Professor Datuk Dr. Shamsul Amri Baharuddin and Datuk Dr. Anis Yusal Yusoff, the programme serves as a platform for the many voices and perspectives on Malaysia to be heard in a variety of disciplines. Based at the Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA) at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) the programme counts universities, civil societies and corporates worldwide as partners to the programme.

“A transformation is required where new approaches and mindsets are necessary to develop new technologies and formulate new policies”, said Prof. Dato’ Ts. Dr. Mohd Ekhwan Hj. Toriman, the Vice-Chancellor of UKM in his launching speech. He also added “Here in UKM we have an opportunity to provide thought leadership in this time of uncertainty.”
In the keynote address, Distinguished Prof. Datuk Dr. Shamsul Amri Baharuddin said “We at GMSN had realised how essential it is to see the VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity & Ambiguity) environment as a challenge and not a threat. The virtual fellowship is one innovation adapted to deal with the fluid environment. No one university will be able to effectively deal with a multidisciplinary discipline like Malaysian Studies alone. With new issues and problems an enhanced collaborative and cross-border approach incorporating digital technologies must be taken”.

“Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, there were publications on Malaysia from every continent, including Africa and Latin America. This reflects the broad global interest in economic, political and cultural potential of Malaysia”, said Prof. Arndt Graf of the Goethe University Frankfurt, a panelist at the launch.
Australian National University’s Prof. Dr. John Funston commented “GMSN have a key role to play in keeping contact between academics”.

Malaysian Studies had been established for more than 60 years with the first international Malaysian studies chair, the Tun Abdul Razak Chair at Ohio University established in 1979. Since then many other Malaysian studies chairs have been established in leading universities worldwide. GMSN builds on the interest and strong need to develop a collection of Malaysian Studies resources and partnerships that can provide further insights to the study of Malaysia.


For more details please contact GMSN at

22nd August 2021