Ep. 5 Diversity, Identity, and Community with Jason Wee from Architects of Diversity

Welcome to our bi-weekly podcast where we aim to empower people to express themselves through speech! In each episode, we will seek to speak about ways to better verbalize ourselves and our stories. We will also have topical interview sessions with special guests and share select speaking tips, useful for the casual and competitive speaker.

Episode 5, Season 2

Episode 5 features Princeton graduate, Jason Wee, the co-founder and lead coordinator of Architects of Diversity (AOD), a non-profit initiative that aims to bridge communities and identity groups among youths in Malaysia. Since 2018, AOD has organised camps and workshops for over 300 beneficiaries to address the growing segregation in education and social spaces along racial and religious lines. AOD programmes use experiential learning and create opportunities for intergroup friendship formation to foster greater understanding and the ability to navigate identity-based conflicts and inequities.

Within this episode, we also discuss the survey, ‘Malaysia’s Temperature Check’, and in particular, the following data sets:

1) A majority of Malaysians are sympathetic towards economically disenfranchised groups. According to the survey, 86% support the move away from race-based economic assistance to prioritise income-based assistance. 78% of Malaysians agree that Political parties should stop aligning based on race and focus on putting together fair policies instead.

2) From the report, it was found that language-related education policies are most hotly contested. The status of vernacular schools, language of instruction for Science and Mathematics, and recognition of the Unified Examination Certificate splits public opinion most strikingly. For example, 56% Bumiputera Malays agree that Malaysia should abolish vernacular schools (e.g. SJKC, SJKT), while 43% Bumiputera non-Malays, 71% Chinese, and 78% Indians, disagree that Malaysia should abolish vernacular schools (e.g. SJKC, SJKT).




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