Imagined Malaysia is intended to be a research project based on the alternative history of Malaysia and Southeast Asia. We hope to participate in the efforts of creating public awareness and education about the differing narratives and stories that may be omitted from official/master history. This is to not only change our understanding of the nation’s history, but to also 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.