South Korean culture has influenced many people worldwide. With the new technologies and media, South Korean culture has spread widely such as K-POP, K-Drama, Korean food, language and so on. In terms of entertainment, today, South Korea seems to surpass both Hollywood and Bollywood and has contributed to the new term called “the Korean Wave”. The Korean Wave or also known as Hallyu became popular in China and the Southeast Asian region since the 1990s, before finally reaching its neighbour, Japan, in 2003 with the introduction of hit Korean drama, Winter Sonata and its main character, Yon-sama.(Kyŏul Yŏnga)( (Kim & Ryoo, 2007).

Interestingly, ‘Winter Sonata’ made its arrival in Malaysian broadcast system in 2002, which was a year earlier than Japan. The drama’s original soundtrack was even translated into ‘Sonata Musim Salju’, sung by popular singer, Hazami. The hype of the drama was really high to the extent the song peaked in Malaysian radio broadcasting music charts. (Betty, 2016). Nowadays, Malaysians not only watch K-Drama but also consume their music, food as well as their fashion. Some of the popular K-Pop stars in Malaysia are Blackpink and BTS. Hallyu alsoinfluenced Malaysians’ attitudes, intentions, and behaviours. Grace Phang Ing, Azizi Abdul Adis and Zaiton Osman (2018) indicated that Malaysian young adults have positive attitudes towards K-Drama and K-Pop songs regardless of the ethnicity and religious background (Ing, Abdul Adis, & Osman, 2018).

Korean cultures such as food, language and fashion were promoted through the K-Dramas. Korean culture is understood to be quite similar with Chinese and Japanese cultures, as they also incorporate both countries’ cultural elements into their own. It has been able to fulfil or feed Asian viewers with similar, modernized culture without succumbing to Westernization. The culture is easily absorbed by Malaysians because Malaysia is a unique country that has many races and diversified cultures (Ariffin, Abu Bakar, & Yusof, 2018). The researchers believed that Korean dramas fulfil the ‘emptiness’ of Malaysian viewers, a feat unachievable by western movies.

The Korean wave also raised the issue of ‘halal food’ among Korean food lover in Malaysia. There are too many Korean restaurant in this country but not all of them are certified halal. This has been an issue among the citizens to the extent where it has influenced  the pre-existing industrial structure by inducing global corporations and foreign governments to chase the regulation of “halal” certificate (Kim, Saffinee, & Jamaludin, 2019)

In 2017, the death of K-Pop Star Kim Jong-hyun has showed the big impact of Korean culture towards the society in Malaysia when K-Pop fans join candlelight vigils. Young Muslim adults also joined the vigils which caused Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria to rebuke the action. According to Harussani it is haram and he questioned why people are following the culture of infidels because the singer had died due to suicide (Yunus, 2017).


Kim, E. M., & Ryoo, J. (2007). South Korean Culture Goes Global: K‐Pop and the Korean Wave*. Korean Social Science Journal, 117-142.


Ing, G. P., Abdul Adis, A., & Osman, Z. (2018). Korean Wave and Malaysian Young Adults: Attitudes, Intention and Behaviour. Malaysian Journal of Business and Economics, 77-94.

Ariffin, J. T., Abu Bakar, D., & Yusof, D. (2018). Culture in Korean Drama towards Influencing Malaysian Audiences. International Journal of Innovative Research in Engineering & Management (IJIREM) , 10-14.

Yunus, A. (2017, December 23). Muslims cannot join candlelight vigils for Kim Jong-hyun; it is haram: Perak Mufti. Retrieved from New Straits Times: https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2017/12/317535/muslims-cannot-join-candlelight-vigils-kim-jong-hyun-it-haram-perak-mufti

Kim, T., Saffinee, S., & Jamaludin, M. (2019). The Application of Halal Logistic in Korean Halal Industry: A Model from Malaysia Perspective. JOURNAL OF HALAL INDUSTRY & SERVICES, 1-7.


By Syakira Idayu

When it comes to helping other countries in need, especially countries that have a vast majority of Muslims, Malaysia has been doing a good job in setting the example. From helping our neighbour, Indonesia by giving supplies to them during dire moments due to tsunamis and earthquakes, to aiding the Palestinians in war with the Israelis. No doubt, Malaysia deserves a big round of applause for having a big heart. But the real question is, “is it enough”? Are there people who we have overlooked, who else can we lend a helping hand to?

Meet the Uyghurs.

The Uyghurs are a Turkic ethnic group that widely resides in China. They are recognized as a native group in Xinjiang which is located in the northwest region of China. They are deemed as one of China’s officially recognized ethnic minorities. The Chinese government only acknowledges the Uyghurs as a regional minority in China but disapproves them from being an indigenous group. The majority of the Uyghurs are Muslims. This is due to the Islamization during the first Turkic Dynasty in the tenth century(Ruser, 2020).

The Uyghurs are a clear representative of oppression and ethnic cleansing which is still happening in the world today. They have to face a cruel process of physical and mental torture until they disown their faith and belief. These inhuman treatments are carried out in the Chinese Internment Camps, or as the Chinese government likes to call them, “re-education camps”.(Maizland, 2020). These camps focus on annihilating the Uyghurs language and cultural heritage completely. The Chinese government have reportedly confined more than a million Uyghurs in the camps. Those who are not restrained are subjected to intensive surveillance, religious restrictions and forced sterilization (Maizland, 2020).

According to the government officials, these people are being detained for ridiculous reasons which they call ‘crime’. Most of these ‘crimes’ have correlation to Islamic practices such as attending services at mosques, sending texts containing Quran verses or simply just because one identifies as a Muslim. Needless to say, the Uighurs are labelled as extremists, purely for practicing their religion. This is clearly a breach in the Human Rights Act, that allows the freedom of thought, belief and religion (Clarke, 2018)

“I didn’t see, but I could hear the unbearable screams coming from both sides of the corridor,” a former Uyghur detainee spoke, thinking back on his days at the camps in 2017 (Marx & Sumrie, 2020). Sources of information about the happenings in these camps are scarce, but according to the runaways who managed to escape, they described their daily lives in there as brutal and harsh. They were forced to commit devotion to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) and renounce Islam in prison-like environments (Ruser, 2020).

Without a doubt, the right to live as a human being for the Uyghurs are being seized and they cannot do anything about it. Just because they are powerless doesn’t mean we are too. Ironically Malaysia, a country that is seemingly always concerned about the Muslim population are silent. This issue has been a hot topic for quite some time, on social media. Are we going to just leave it at that and turn a blind eye?


Anwar, D., & Jones, S. (2019). Explaining Indonesia’s Silence on the Uyghur Issue. Jakarta: Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict.

Clarke, M. (2018). China and the Uyghurs: The “Palestinization” of Xinjiang? Middle East Policy, 127-146.

Maizland, L. (2020, June 30). China’s Repression of Uighurs in Xinjiang. Retrieved from Council on Foreign Relations: https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/chinas-repression-uighurs-xinjiang

Marx, W., & Sumrie, O. (2020, September 9). Uighurs accuse China of mass detention, torture in landmark complaint. Retrieved from NBC News: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/uighurs-accuse-china-mass-detention-torture-landmark-complaint-n1239493

Ruser, N. (2020). Cultural Erasure: Tracing the destruction of Uyghur and Islamic spaces in Xinjiang. Australia: Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Freedom of speech on social media in Malaysia

Putri Azizuhainee Binti Mohd Khalid

Social media have changed our capacity to interface across noteworthy social, political and geographic partitions. Where beforehand there are gatekeepers and arranged admittance to broad communications stages, today possibly anybody – and any substance – can arrive at a large number of people in a moment. “Notwithstanding the new media, the rise of social media is likewise seen as upgrading the intuitive level by giving the client the opportunity to pick the wellspring of data and diversion wanted”, (Ali Salman, Mohd Azul Yusoff, Mohammad Agus Mohamad Salleh & Mohd Yusof Abdullah, 2018). At the same time, social media allow people to exercise their freedom of speech which enable all people, the right to speak their mind and write down ideas without fear of condemnation. Besides that, this advancement bears incredible chances for the democratization of articulation and the enhancement of public discussion. However, this advancement also widened the effect and damage caused by disinformation and scorn discourse.

According to Mohd Azizuddin (2008), “In Malaysia, freedom of speech is formally assured by Part II of the Federal Constitution under Article 10(1) entitled ‘Freedom of Speech, Assembly and Association’. Article 10(1) specifies that (a) each resident has the option to the right to speak freely of discourse and articulation; (b) all residents reserve the privilege to amass serenely and without arms; and (c) all residents reserve the option to frame affiliations”. Nonetheless, in spite of the fact that citizens are given the privilege to speak freely, Section 2 of the Article limits the right where Parliament may by law force limitations where there are significant or legitimate concern for public security, Parliament or the Legislative Gathering. (Comber, 1983; Federal Constitution, 1999) as cited by Mohd Azizuddin (2008).

Mohd Hamdan (2015) mentioned that “Freedom of speech in social media makes the youth more willing to use the medium than other media”. This is due to its entrancing highlights and the opportunity of sharing videos, pictures and status make the online media applications much all the more engaging the users. One example which we can observe in Malaysia in regards to social media usage is during the 14th General Elections where Facebook and Whatsapp became a medium in providing political messages and data to win the hearts and minds of voters. Everyone had the ability and courage to voice their opinions on these platforms freely, to the extent of giving less consideration on the perverse effects it could have, contributing to cases of hate speech. However, the Malaysian government has clearly utilized the laws to fortify its capacity, to limit resistance and to control public opinion. Albeit many would agree that racial harmony, civil order, and political steadiness are consistently the primary objectives of the multiracial society in Malaysia, there is no explanation that genuine political speech, which is a basis for any government, ought to be forfeited in accomplishing those objectives.


Comber, L. (1983). 13 May 1969: A Historical Survey of Sino-Malay Relations. Kuala Lumpur: Heinemann Asia

Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani (2008) Freedom of Speech and Democracy in Malaysia, Asian Journal of Political Science, 16:1, 85-104

Mohd Hamdan Haji Adnan. (2015). Peranan media massa memartabatkan integriti Nasional. Jurnal Komunikasi Borneo, 2.

Salman, A., Yusoff, M. A., Mohamad Salleh, M. A., & Abdullah, M. Y. (2018). Political engagement on social media as antecedent for political support among voters in Malaysia. Jurnal Komunikasi, Malaysian Journal of Communication, 34(2), 152-165. https://doi.org/10.17576/jkmjc-2018-3402-10

The Federal Constitution (1999). Laws Research Board (Comp.), 1 January. Kuala Lumpur: International Law Book Services.


Nurul Najwa Binti Mahadzir

K-pop, as a music genre and pop culture experience has been a global phenomenon for more than a decade, now. The K-pop music industry’s influence that captured the ears (and hearts) of many around the world actually has been established since the 90s and early 2000s, with the likes of Seo Taiji & Boys, arguably the founding group that redefined K-pop as we know it today. But it was really K-pop boy band, BTS’ breakthrough in the American music scene in 2017 that really elevated the genre, transforming the boys into The Beatles-esque status.

            Generally, the American music industry is really averse to non-English music. Besides, other countries’ production of movies or music usually pale in comparison to America’s output in terms of sophistication, glamour and influence (Rose, 2020). However, recent years have shown a different trend. Fans are drawn to K-pop, especially in the US where the most fans are minorities, allowing themselves to feel represented in mainstream pop culture. Upon seeing BTS mega popularity that reigns the country’s Billboard charts, the Americans have decided to bank in on the opportunity. This includes Billboard’s decision to place the members individually on their magazine covers as collectibles, collaboration with Hollywood artists such as Halsey and Steve Aoki and appearances on US late night TV shows. The fans went hysterical, TV hosts citing the phenomenon bearing resemblance to Beatlemania. All of it which has helped in boosting BTS’ presence in the US and of course, as we all know, once you made it in the US, you’ve really made it.  

            Phenomenon aside, the K-pop industry is no stranger to criticisms as well. K-pop group characteristics – complex choreography, aesthetics, song production and squeaky clean image of the idols (Roche, n.d. ) are almost always manufactured in a formulaic, calculative manner. Therefore, it has always been unlikely that any idol members or groups, would engage in political activism publicly, fearing it might jeopardize their image. While there are efforts by these young Korean celebrities to participate in political activism, whether intentionally or not, the gesture has always been guaranteed with impending criticism or restrictions from their own management companies. Which is why BTS’s participation in Black Lives Matter campaign is considered revolutionary.

            Black Lives Matter can only be described as a social movement in response to numerous killings of unarmed African Americans (Clayton, 2018). This social movement was then embraced by many across the world, because at the core of it all, its cause transcends the African-American community. This movement represents a pivotal civil rights movement for the often oppressed African-American community in a country built by systemic racism, and for many minority groups in the country – including Korean-Americans, this is a cause for undeniable support, collectively.  

            BTS was reported to have donated $1 million to Black Lives Matter (Benjamin, 2020) and their management company, Big Hit Entertainment tweeted their solidarity in the fight for Black lives. While BTS was not the only Korean artists that donated for the cause – other artists such as rapper pH-1 and Jay Park also donated and pledged support, it was perhaps a peculiar, yet refreshing sight to see K-pop idol groups engaging in political activism, directly. In recent years, BTS was also chosen to deliver a speech to today’s youths at the UN General Assembly.

            BTS’ political activism may be considered revolutionary, but for their fans, aptly named ARMY, their social cause for justice and civil rights may not be a surprise. Among the many factors jolting Seo Taiji & Boys rise to fame were songs that target social inequality and teenage runaways (Jin & Ryoo, 2014). BTS has always been compared to Seo Taiji & Boys as their song lyrics have supported progressive causes, touching on issues of self-love and social consciousness (Bruner, 2020).

            Recently, ARMYs has been in the spotlight for interfering at Trump rallies, increasing expecting numbers to the rally without the intention of actually attending it. This savvy organizing and quick mobilization skills were lauded by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, even though K-pop fans, ARMYs in particular has always been able to top trending hashtags on social media platforms at the tip of their fingers.

            Whether or not this political activism supported by K-pop fans are largely contributed by the K-pop industry’s new embrace to a political cause, it has certainly created a growing discourse. Fans recognized how political activism is a rarity in the K-pop industry. However, as fans continue to grow worldwide, a form of inclusion, diversity and respect towards other cultures and social causes must be included in the industry’s long-term plan, replacing the industry’s lack of cultural appropriation or engagement in political activism prior to this moment. To date, BTS contributed income to South Korea’s GDP is in the likes of the country’s conglomerates such as LG and Samsung. Therefore, if political activism is accepted and supported by fans of the industry worldwide, then maybe we can predict seeing more propagated messages that promote activism, political or not, from K-pop groups in the future.



Benjamin, J. (2020, June 6). BTS and Big Hit Entertainment Donate $1 Million to Black Lives Matter. Retrieved from Variety on 14th January 2021, https://variety.com/2020/music/news/bts-big-hit-1-million-black-lives-matter-donation-1234627049/.

Bruner, R. (2020, July 25). How K-pop Fans Actually Work as a Force for Political Activism in 2020. Retrieved from TIME on 14th January 2021, https://time.com/5866955/k-pop-political/.

Clayton, D. (2018). Black Lives Matter and the Civil Rights Movement: A Comparative Analysis of Two Social Movements in the United States. Journal of Black Studies, 49(5); 448-480.

Jin, D. Y., & Ryoo, W. (2014). Critical Interpretation of Hybrid K-Pop: The Global-Local Paradigm of English Mixing in Lyrics . Popular Music and Society, 37(2); 113-131.

Roche, A. (n.d. ). Blood Sweat & Tears: A Closer Look at the K-pop Phenomenon. Retrieved from Music Business Journal, Berklee College of Music on 14th January 2021, http://www.thembj.org/2019/11/blood-sweat-tears-a-closer-look-at-the-k-pop-phenomenon/.

Rose, S. (2020, September 12). American horror story: how the US lost its grip on pop culture . Retrieved from The Guardian on 14th January 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2020/sep/12/american-horror-story-how-the-us-lost-its-grip-on-pop-culture.

US vs China: Issues and discussion

By Nurain Sirajuddin

As the world acknowledged the relationship between two superpower countries, long-time rivals, China and the US will not be shifting into friendlier terms, even under the administration of newly – elected president, Joe Biden. The bilateral trade hostility between these two countries engaging in today’s cold war does not seem to find an end point, as Biden will continue to resume the country’s policy in China to maintain containment of power and coalition. US’ containment strategy is by suppressing the economic power of China through trade war and its domination over communication technology such as the 5G infrastructure. Meanwhile, the coalition is to support the strategy of containment attentive enough to gain a full support from Australia, Japan and India to pursue an action in acquiring and developing the China-focused Quad security (Zelleke, 2020).

From the economic perspectives, China will lose its largest source of economy as it is one of the major exporters to the US and contributes up to 20% of China’s GDP. This trade war will impact China’s access to components of US technology and bad implications to the US dollar currency can lead to loss and financial instability(Roach, 2020). However, the restriction to access the chips made with US technology was decided by the Trump’s administration making it impossible for Huawei to both source and penetrate their chips to the US market (Wong, 2020). As a consequence, China is set to continue developing a critical, industrial hub for most international companies in the conceivable future (Crabtree, 2020). This rivalry will also give a huge impact to the US when it will also lose its source of low-cost goods and materials. China also serves as a treasury of securities for the US and the third largest country for US external demand in export market, trade and investment (Roach, 2020; Lester and Zhu, 2020).

Moreover, Biden will continue US’ policies on China that has been introduced during the Trump administration but will seek to arrange and choose more effective and intelligible approach to reframe the US-China relations. (Barrett, 2020). Besides that, Biden also has planned two policies and projected a $300 billion fund on “Innovate in America” to enhance the research and development industry in US while $400 billion fund on “Buy American” in order to give support in purchasing the domestic goods (Barrett, 2020).

According to Johnson and Gramer (2020), the results of the coronavirus pandemic, most of the multinational companies will change their business model and business chain to US. These companies need to change its business relations with China in different ways, since the defeat of Trump means there is no more ‘America First’ sentiment. Hence, US need to ensure that the support from the multinational companies and other countries will be with the US.

As a conclusion, the relations between China and US will not reach an end anytime soon, as both countries need each other for their interests in economy, military and technology. Some of the solutions that will help foster good international communication between the two countries could be something similar to the ‘Belt and Road’ strategy, which has allowed China maintain good trade relations and forming new market with other countries (Zhu, Yang & Feng, 2018). The Chinese, under China Innovation will continue to improve their product in order to compete and capitalize in the foreign market, to conduct better bilateral negotiations with the US while also applying international regulations between both countries (Zhu, Yang & Feng, 2018). Hence, both countries need to take actions and efforts to ensure the trade war will come to an end and have a good relationship in trade to avoid disorder in global trade.


Barrett, E. (2020). Why a Biden presidency won’t end the US-China Trade war. Fortune. Retrieve from https://fortune.com/2020/11/09/joe-biden-us-china-trade-war/

Crabtree, J. (2020). US-China decoupling is much harder than Donald Trump thinks. Nikkei Asia. Retrieved from https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/US-China-decoupling-is-much-harder-than-Donald-Trump-thinks

Johnson, K., & Gramer, R. (2020). The Great Decoupling. Foreign Policy. Retrieved from https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/05/14/china-us-pandemic-economy-tensions-trump-coronavirus-covid-new-cold-war-economics-the-great-decoupling/

Lester, S., & Zhu, H. (2020). The US-China Trade War: Is there an End in Sight?, Cato Institute. Retrieve from https://www.cato.org/cato-journal/winter-2020/us-china-trade-war-there-end-sight

Roach, S., S. (2020). The end of the US-China relationship. The Jakarta Post. Retrieved from https://www.thejakartapost.com/academia/2020/04/28/the-end-of-the-us-china-relationship.html

Wong, J. (2020). The US-China Tech War Won’t End Under Biden. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-u-s-china-tech-war-wont-end-under-biden-11607939916

Zelleke, A. (2020). What is the end game of US-China competition?, The Diplomat. Retrieved from https://thediplomat.com/2020/11/what-is-the-end-game-of-us-china-competition/

Zhu, Z., Yang, Y., & Feng. S. (2018). Trade War between China and US. Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research (ASSEHR), 206, 423-426.

Religion and Human Rights in Malaysia


Democratic and legal theorists, thinkers and experts alike have long been interested with the rights of non-discrimination and inclusion. They serve social, economic, political and symbolic purposes and are used to explain facts or recommend values. While many have believed the two sides of the same coin represent non-discrimination and equity, careful attention shows that the values apply differently and often even diverge. Given its predominant Muslim population, Malaysia is a well-known Muslim-majority region. The country’s demographic point of view shows that about 60.4% of its current population of 29.6 million adhere to the Islamic faith (Ahmad & Adil, 2014). Malaysia is very proud to be a melting pot of diverse cultures, races and faiths, co-existing under the supposedly moderate paradigm of the Islamic nation. Malaysia has successfully managed to preserve harmonious coexistence among its people, considering the fragility that usually occurs in multi-ethnic societies (Hamed Shah & Sani Mohd, 2010).

            A relevant feature of the Constitution is civil rights. The constitutional protection of the enjoyment of human rights granted to any Malaysian person is reiterated in Articles 5-13 of the Constitution, often referred to as ‘Fundamental Liberty’. While Islam is a strong proponent of human rights and human well-being, Islamic law is not applied in Malaysia in such a way that it responds to the conventional values of Islamic law. Instead, in Malaysia, the scope and authority of Islamic law has been limited from what it is meant to be (Ahmad & Adil, 2014).  This is because the Constitution has clarified that Islamic rule in Malaysia is only limited in scope to such regions, such as marital matters and minimum criminal jurisdictions empowered by state authorities.

            Despite the civil rights and Malaysia as an Islamic nation, in defining Malaysia as either an Islamic or a secular state, this triggers a political debate which makes non-Muslims uncomfortable. To compare the practice of freedom of religion in the West is quite different than how it is practice in Malaysia. People in Malaysia are allowed to choose their own religion as it applies under one of the elements of human rights as justified by Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This applies with the purpose of human rights as Feron (2014) highlighted that a number of historical clues suggest that human rights are indeed a value system meant to unite humankind into a ‘moral community’, justifying their comparison with a religion.

            Two important aspects of the Malaysia legal system are Islamic law and civil rights, which have been highly stressed by the Malaysia’s Federal Constitution. Human rights are not new to Islam and the coming of Islam is intended to represent the whole world as a grace and to uphold humanity’s sacred values. As such, considering that any breach of human rights could be tantamount to disobeying Islamic values is not an exaggeration. While the point is a little blurred by non-Muslims, Malaysia is now proclaimed by the government as the Islamic State because secular or non-religious problems are considered Islamic, as well as learning about non-Islamic ideology such as Marxism and liberalism is Islamic in the sense that it would reinforce Islamic values among Muslims by learning non-Islamic matters.


Ahmad, N. M., & Mohamed Adil, M. A. (2014). Islamic Law and Human Rights in Malaysia. 43-67.

Feron, H. (2014). Human rights and Faith: A ‘World-Widesecular Religion’? 181-200.

Hamed Shah, D. A., & Sani Mohd, M. A. (2010). Freedom of Religion in Malaysia: A Tangled Web of Legal, Political, and Social Issues. 648-673.



The strain to China and Australia’s relationship started when China refused to pull down a tweet containing a doctored image of an Australian soldier with a bloody knife, seemingly to have murdered an Afghan child. The photo was uploaded on Twitter by the then Chinese Foreign Minister Lijian Zhao and sparked fury from the Prime Minister of Australia; Scott Morrison (Henry (2020).  According to Henry(2020) Morrison also stated and described the photo as repugnant, utterly outrageous and falsified.

The relationship between Australia and China worsened significantly, with China introducing economic restrictions on Australian goods in addition to the myriad of attacks by the Chinese media pertaining various issues according to Giesecke (2020) In addition to that, China was previously accused by Australia for human rights violations for decades, particularly in Tibet and Xinjiang(David (2020).

The tweet of the doctored image is one of many examples of China’s aggressive communication against foreign countries, which experts refer to as “wolf warrior” diplomacy. According to Shih and Wei (2020) Wolf Warrior and Wolf Warrior 2 are Chinese action blockbusters movies. Wolf Warrior diplomacy in a nutshell is a confrontational way in which the diplomats defend China’s national interests. Both movies showcase how Chinese special operation forces uplifted China’s national pride and patriotism thus, deriving similarity with the attack on Twitter, (Shih and Wei 2020). Shih and Wei(2020) added that the image was published during a sensitive time where the Australia government launched an investigation into allegations that its elite forces killed 39 citizens and prisoners in Afghanistan.

According to Shanapinda (2019), this turmoil between the countries worsened in 2019 when Australia excluded Chinese company Huawei from supplying technology for Australia’s 5G networks and this happened during the time where Australia took the lead role in lobbying its Five Eyes partners. It was also mentioned by Tommy (2020) that Australia was the first country to ban Huawei.

As if excluding Huawei was not seen as a hostile intent enough, Australia also lobbied others to follow suit. Hendrischke and Li (2019). However, Giesecke (2020) stated that the main factor Canberra officials excluded Huawei remains unknown. Beijing was enraged when this happened.

Meanwhile, according to Davis (2020) the tipping point was when Australia decided to prevent foreign political donations in addition to rumoured attempts by China to influence political process in Canberra.

Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison volunteered to lead the charge in investigating China’s responsibility for the outbreak of COVID-19 that started in the city of Wuhan in late 2019. However, the reason Morrison is directly participating and taking charge in the investigation also remains blurry stated Tommy (2020).

Another instance of this broken relationship is when Australia’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg decided to prevent Mengniu Dairy, a Hong Kong Listed company from taking over Lion Dairy and Drinks which is Japanese owned in a 600 million acquisition deal.

There is no sign that the feud between these two countries will come to an end. However, as an ally to USA, and with newly elected president Joe Biden, the relationship between China and USA will indefinitely improve and resulting in a ripple effect that might positively influence a “treaty” between Australia and China.


  1. Davis, M. J. (2020). Australia and China: Framing an Ambivalent Relationship. Asian Studies Review, 1–19.
  2. Shanapinda, S. 2019. “Blocking Huawei from Australia Means Slower and Delayed 5G – and For What?” The Conversation, May 23, https://theconversation.com/blocking-huawei-fromaustralia-means-slower-and-delayed-5g-and-for-what-117507.
  3. Li, W., & Hendrischke, H. (2019). Chinese Outbound Investment in Australia: From State Control to Entrepreneurship. The China Quarterly, 1–36.
  4. Hundt, D,. (2020) The changing role of the FIRB and the politics of foreign investment in Australia, Australian Journal of Political Science, 55:3, 328-343
  5. Wei Shi & Shih-Diing Liu (2020) Pride as structure of feeling: Wolf Warrior II and the national subject of the Chinese Dream, Chinese Journal of Communication, 13:3, 329-343
  6. Henry, I. D., (2020). Adapt or atrophy? The Australia-U.S. Alliance in an age of power transition. Contemporary Politics, 1–18.
  7. Sheng, T. H. C., (2020) How China attempts to drive a wedge in the U.S.-Australia alliance, Australian Journal of International Affairs, 74:5, 511-531,
  8. Giesecke, J. A., Tran, N. H., & Waschik, R. (2020). Should Australia be Concerned by Beijing’s Trade Threats: Modelling the Economic Costs of Restrictions on Imports of Australian Coal. Centre of Policy Studies Working Paper No. G-310, Victoria University, 3.


By Mohd Fiezreen Ahmad

The transgender community are known in the society for so long, in fact in 1986 there was a designated organization called Persatuan Mak Nyah Wilayah Persekutuan created especially for transgender people. Recognized by the government, this organization received support from Ministry of Community Welfare or currently known as Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (Azid et al, 2020). However, the lifespan of this club was not long after it received rejection from the Islamic Council, as it was deemed to attract people to become transgender. In one research by Wei et al (2012) on 100 respondents, only 31% respondents felt that members of the transgender community are accepted as part of the society in Malaysia, while 69% do not accept them as such. This is because religions such as Islam and Christianity prohibit transgenderism. However this unacceptance does not mean they wish any harm on transgender person, it is just the idea of transgenderism is against their belief.

As we are living in the digital era where everyone can express themselves through social media platforms, a lot of transgender individual has become more vocal regarding the issue and oppression received by their community. One of activists addressing this issue vocally is Nisha Ayub, who co-founded Seed in 2007 and Justice for Sisters in 2010 (Chin, 2020). Both of these organizations are in response to help and educate transgenders around Malaysia who often face violence, injustice and oppression. The issue of injustice faced by transgender in Malaysia has caught international attention. In a report by Human Rights Watch, it stated that there were a few cases of assault that have resulted in death or badly injured of transgender people committed by authority personnel or other civilians (Goshal, 2019). International organization recognized this issue and show their support towards this community. As an example, Nisha Ayub received the International Women of Courage Award at the White House in Washington DC (Indramalar, 2016). In 2019 she was among BBC 100 Women of 2019 (Tan, 2019) for her works in seeking justice for the transgender community in this country. These recognitions means that her activism campaigns travelled well and are heard at international level.

As a Muslim-majority country with conservative views on gender and sexuality issues in general, binaries of gender and sexuality are frequently maintained and enforced without doubt, fostering the stigmatisation of transgender people (Luhur et al, 2020). This draws international attention and negative perspectives on how the government and our society deal with this community. In 2018,  Dato’ Dr Mujahid Rawa who was a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department under the portfolio of Religious Affair issued a statement that his meeting with Nisha Ayub did not implied his support for LGBT culture but he stressed that the harassment and any form of discrimination against people who are transgender in Malaysia must end because their rights as Malaysian citizens cannot be denied (Pillay, 2018).

The society in Malaysia and transgender community must work together to achieve a common ground. Without both participation, the dilemma and acceptance will never be resolved. Transgender in our society is no longer an isolated issue because we had long embraced one another in living together. In fact, transgenders were once an actors or even characters in dramas, films and comedy filling our television show in the 80’s and 90’s. Now let’s live together in peace and harmony with an instil respect for one another.


Azid, M. A. A., Subri, N. S. M., & Ahmad, K. (2020). Mak Nyah dan Perkembangannya di Malaysia. RABBANICA-Journal of Revealed Knowledge1(1), 19-34.

Wei, C. L., Baharuddin, A., Abdullah, R., Abdullah, Z., & Ern, K. P. C. (2012). Transgenderism in Malaysia. Journal of Dharma37(1), 79-96.

Chin, K .(2020, December 03). Activist Nisha Ayub On Fighting For The Rights Of Transgender Community. Malaysia Tatler. https://my.asiatatler.com/society/malaysian-activistits-nisha-ayub-fighting-for-transgender-rights

Ghoshal, N. (2019, June 25). “The Deceased Can’t Speak for Herself:” Violence Against LGBT People in Malaysia. Human Right Watch. https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/06/25/deceased-cant-speak-herself-violence-against-lgbt-people-malaysia

Indramalar, S. (2016, April 22). Nisha Ayub’s tough fight for transgender rights is ongoing. The Star. https://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/people/2016/04/22/nisha-ayub-will-not-stop-fighting-for

Tan, M. Z. (2019, October 16). Win for trans community: Malaysian activist Nisha Ayub on BBC 100 Women of 2019 list. Malay Mail. https://www.malaymail.com/news/life/2019/10/16/win-for-trans-community-malaysian-activist-nisha-ayub-on-bbc-100-women-of-2/1800823

Luhur, W., Brown, T. N., & Goh, J. N. (2020). Public Opinion of Transgender Rights in Malaysia.

Pillay, S. (2018, August 11). Mujahid: Meeting with Nisha Ayub does not imply support for LGBT culture. New Straits Times. https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/08/400350/mujahid-meeting-nisha-ayub-does-not-imply-support-lgbt-culture


By Muhamad Shazwan Abdul Hamid

Propaganda; which has been used for ages started way back during the World War 1 and continuously being used until today. Propaganda is a type of communication in which its goal is to manipulate and influence the opinion of people to support some movement, organisation, government, cause or belief and it is likely be used in artwork, films, speeches and music (White, n.d.)

Dr Zollman said that “What we refer to as modern day propaganda was actually invented at the start of the 20th century and actually, it relates more to business practices, to advertising, public relations and so on”. He added said that we need to look back throughout the history, the terminology of propaganda and how it has changed (Modern Day Propaganda, n.d.)

In today’s modern propaganda, all of it has been changed to a digital visuals such as digital posters like memes, video games and it has been spreading widely in social media, websites, and chat rooms internationally without being controlled by anyone (Hasic, 2019).

Take for example the propaganda done by the United States (U.S) in a game called “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” where they portrayed Russia as the evil villain whom kills the people there, which is now called as Highway of Death between Kuwait and Iraq. “The Russians bombed it during the invasion, killing the people trying to escape. He’s the man responsible for creating the Highway of Death, and for using forced labor torture, summary executions and chemical weapons to punish people in the region”, (Hall, 2019). The truth is that the one who did all the invasion was none other than the Great Father which is the U.S.  The game also portrayed a scene where a player who plays a role as a CIA officer shoots the enemies as well as Russian soldiers.

The game tried to portray Russia as a bad country internationally whereby all that they are good in doing is destroying and killing. The propaganda done can shift people’s view on Russia which is not good for their economy. Besides that, the games will subconsciously make other players from other countries to see Russia as a really bad country as most of the players are students. The games have been played by millions of people worldwide and it has sparked negative comments towards the Infinity Ward (the developer). Most of the Russian consumers who played the game commented that the game portrays their soldiers as a little more than faceless henchmen (Hall, 2019). Days after the release of Call of Duty : Modern Warfare, Russian consumers expressed their anger towards the game and created user reviews on Metacritic which led to a 2.5/10 score for the game.

In the modern day, people tend to look for information by using the internet medium which is the social media mainly through Twitter, Facebook and other news website such as BBC, Al Jazeera, The Washington Post and others. The problem with today’s information centre is that they are spreading the propaganda drastically and they called it as freedom of speech or freedom of expression. Instead of approving the Article 13, the government might as well create a law restricting a certain limit for the propaganda to be shared because sometimes the propaganda that is being shared contains more negative impact instead of positive impact towards a nation and also the people.


Hall, C. (2019, October 30). Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s Highway of Death controversy, explained. Retrieved from Polygon: https://www.polygon.com/2019/10/30/20938550/call-of-duty-modern-warfare-highway-of-death-controversy

Hasic, A. (2019, March 12). Why propaganda is more dangerous in the digital age. Retrieved from The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/03/12/why-propaganda-is-more-dangerous-digital-age/

Modern Day Propaganda. (n.d.). Retrieved from Renegade: https://renegadeinc.com/modern-day-propaganda/

White, D. (n.d.). What is Propaganda? – Definition, Techniques, Types & Examples. Retrieved from Study.com: https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-propaganda-definition-techniques-types-examples.html