Professor Datuk Dr. Shamsul Amri Baharuddin, Founding Director, Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).
Prof Shamsul spent 25 years researching, writing and lecturing on the theme “politics, culture & economic development “in Southeast Asia, with an empirical focus on Malaysia and Indonesia. His books have become standard references in Australia, Japan, the UK, Sweden and the USA on courses on politics and culture on Southeast Asia. A much sought after analyst on Malaysian current affairs in both local and international mass media (Al-Jazeera, BBC, ABC, etc). Laureate Academic Prize 2008, of the prestigious Fukuoka Asian Cultural Prize, Japan. He has taught for more than 30 years (since 1973) with Universiti Malaya and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).
Professor Emma Porio, Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, Ateneo de Manila University, the Philippines.
Under Dr. Porio’s leadership (1996-2002), the Department was selected as a Center of Excellence for Sociology by the Commission of Higher Education. She directs the Gender Studies Program of the university and also edits the Philippine Sociological Review (PSR). For the past 10 years, Dr. Porio has done extensive research on children, urban poverty, urban development and governance. She also sits in the editorial board of Inter-Asia Cultural Studies (Routledge), Contemporary Politics (London), and Social Movement Studies (London).
Mr. Chris Chong Chan Fui is a Sabahan-born filmmaker and visual artist focusing on unconventional stories and experimentation between cinema and visual arts. He is a Ford Foundation fellow and became the first Malaysian director to be invited to Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight in 14 years for his debut award-winning feature film KARAOKE. His experimental work, BLOCK B won the best film prizes in Toronto and Argentina, and in 2010, the work was the first ever Malaysian artwork exhibited at the Smithsonian Institute and subsequently purchased into their exclusive collection. Chris’ most recent project was a Yokohama city commissioned work, HEAVENHELL, based on master film director’s Akira Kurosawa’s 1963 film High & Low.