The Malay Heritage Foundation

Seminars and Workshops

Our Heritage & Legacy Seminar (Warisan Kita Seminar)

This seminar series is organised to support our serial publication. It is aimed at creating awareness and develop critical thinking among our youths, especially on issues related to our culture and heritage that are being raised by the writers in this series.  Organised together with the Malay Studies Society (MSS), National University of Singapore (NUS), this discussion platform also provides a peer-to-peer mentoring between tertiary students and students from the upper-secondary to post-secondary level.

Close to 100 students, from both the secondary schools and madrasahs have participated in the two (2) sessions organised in 2015 and 2016.

Sembang Ilmu Seminar Series

Organised in collaboration with the Malay Studies Society (NUS), this seminar series provides a discursive platform for our youths and young professionals to deliberate and discuss issues relating to the socio-cultural development of the Malays in Singapore, from the contemporary perspective.

The first session entitled, “History and Power: Portrayals of the Malay Community” was conducted on 14 Mar 2020.   The session discussed how history and those in power had portrayed the Malays and how this had impacted sense of identity among the Malays even in contemporary times.  The session was attended by about 20 participants ranging from tertiary students and young professionals. 

A second session was conducted on 12 September 2020. In conjunction with the Bulan Bahasa programme, MHF and NUSMSS had organised a forum on the Malay Language titled “Ada Apa Dengan Bahasa?” to deliberate on the development of Malay language discourse in Singapore. The forum adopted a sociological approach in discussing the links between power and ideologies and the Malay language, and the existing perceptions towards language in society. It was attended by approximately 30 participants ranging from scholars of the Malay language, working professionals, and tertiary students, and was conducted via Zoom.

Bedah Buku (Book Forum)

As a tribute to Kampong Gelam’s legacy as the intellectual and cultural hub, MHF hopes to organise a series of book forum to discuss and share ideas by our more established writers.  This forum is targeted at the wider public, including our literary enthusiasts.

Cendekiawan Lestari (Masterclass) Series

Since the later part of the 19th century, Kampong Gelam has been the centre of intellectual and cultural activity not only for Singapore, but the Malay world. The growth of the printing and publication industry, and the book trade brought many journalists, writers, artists and thought leaders to our shores, to discuss, share and exchange ideas on social, economic and political developments around them; and how these can lead to the betterment of the community. Singapore became fertile ground for prolific individuals such as Eunos Abdullah, A Rahim Kajai, Yusof Ishak, A Samad Ismail, Tongkat Waran (Usman Awang), Kamaludin Hadi (Keris Mas), Harun Aminurrashid, P Ramlee, Zubir Said, Za’aba to plant the seeds of modernity and change for the local populace.

Today, our community has nurtured prominent intellectuals and thought leaders, in diverse fields of expertise.  They have arisen out of Singapore’s unique circumstances where the Malays are the minority competing under a meritocratic system. They have developed expertise and accumulated a wealth of experience and insights that would be useful reference points for present and future generation. There is also a need to acknowledge, put on record and appreciate the huge reservoir of knowledge that is contained within these personalities. Unfortunately, research and documentation on their efforts and contribution are still too few and far in between.  MHF aspires to bridge this knowledge gap by initiating the Cendekiawan Lestari (Masterclass) Series or CLS in short.

The objectives of Cendekiawan Lestari (Masterclass) Series or CLS are as follows:

  • To recognise and appreciate leading Malay intellectuals and intelligentsias in contemporary Singapore, promote critical thinking, cultivate culture of learning and safeguard our local intellectual tradition;
  • To give prominence to our thought leadership and enhance our cultural and intellectual capital; and
  • To engage key stakeholders and community members, both young and old, in the arts, cultural and heritage sectors as well as those in the institutes of higher learning (IHLs).

The CLS will be a discursive platform where the contributions and ideas of prominent figures and key Malay intellectuals and intelligentsia in contemporary Singapore, share and pass on their knowledge to the present and future generation.  The information and knowledge gathered during these sessions will then be compiled and uploaded on MHF’s website which can then be used as future reference. By harnessing this collective knowledge and wisdom, we hope to inspire and generate new ideas that can further propel our community to achieve success, become a stronger and more resilient community.

The proposed list of speakers and themes/topics for their CLS are as follows. Some sessions will be in English and some in Malay, depending in speakers’ preference and topic:


Proposed Speaker

Proposed Theme/Topic


Dr Yaacob Ibrahim

Leadership in Malay Society


Dr Shaharudin Maaruf

Development of the Malays


Dr Hadijah Rahmat

Malay literature


Dr Noor Aisha Abdul Rahman



Dr Aidil Subhan

Language and Linguistics


Dr Mohd Fatris Bakaram



Dr Saeda Buang



Dr Suriani Suratman






Habibah Hj Siraj



Dr Hussin Mutalib

Political Science


Zainul Abideen Rasheed / Guntor Sadali

Malay Journalism


Puan Som Said

Malay Dance


Prof Syed Farid Al-Attas

Orientalism and Colonialism

To kick start the series, we plan to launch the inaugural session on 30 October 2020, in conjunction with the Raikan Ilmu Movement, organised by Yayasan MENDAKI.

As part of our documentation efforts, the sharing by the speaker(s) will be transcribed and compiled into a digital publication that will be published on MHF’s website and social media platforms, at a later date, after we have secured additional resources to support this documentation effort. This publication will also incorporate a critique or critical assessment of these ideas in as much as we appreciate its significance. By harnessing this collective knowledge and wisdom, we hope to inspire and generate new ideas that can further propel our community to achieve success, become a stronger and more resilient community.

English (UK)
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