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ALFP e-magazine: Voices of Asia

Launched in spring 2018, the e-magazine is issued for the purpose of disseminating the thought of public intellectuals, mainly the ALFP fellows, working in civil society, as well as information directly from leaders in their fields related to current issues surrounding Asia. The hope is that these essays and columns will provide food for thought, as we discuss Asia today and tomorrow, and what we can or should do for the betterment of the society we live in.

All four articles in this issue were written and edited before migration had become considerably restricted due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease across the globe. We have decided all the more to deliver this issue focusing on migration—with the hope of providing a viewpoint to think about how human mobility will change and what impact this whole experience is having and will have had on society in the “post-corona” era.

April 2, 2020

ALFP e-magazine issue 6 Migration and Multicultural Coexistence

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Guest Editor: Diana Wong (Dean, Graduate School, New Era University College, Kajang, Malaysia / ALFP 1998 Fellow)

Although migration has never been foreign to human society, the last few decades have seen mass migration on a scale that has put the issue of “Migration and Multicultural Coexistence” at the forefront of the national and international agenda. The unprecedented economic opportunities presented by the forces of globalization, together with the severe dislocations generated by decades of political violence and economic decline in vulnerable parts of the world, have combined to send millions of migrants and refugees spilling across national boundaries within, across and beyond Asia.

The challenges arising from these recent population movements have been tremendous for all involved—individuals, families, societies and states, of both so-called sending and receiving countries. Just as migrants and those they have to leave behind have to struggle with the reality of loss and adaptation, so have “receiving” societies had to deal with “strangers in their midst” with all the resultant cultural, social and economic stresses which can undeniably arise.

What kind of policies should be put in place to manage migration and migrant rights, at a national and international level? Equally if not more important, what kind of learning experiences for multicultural coexistence can be found and replicated at the societal level to make migration and multicultural coexistence a socially enriching force for good, rather than a disruptive force for political conflict?