Above: FORSEA’s Board of Directors: (from left) Pavin Chachavalpongpun; Maung Zarni; Hishamuddin Rais; and (far right) Saskia Wieringa.

On January 6, 2019, FORSEA’s Board of Directors came together in London to discuss a number of important issues pertaining to the operation and the future of FORSEA. They discussed organizational arrangements, short and long term plans, and to finalise the groundwork for the official launch of FORSEA in Malaysia on February 16, 2019.

At the official launch of FORSEA, the key principles of the organisation will be made public for the first time, as well as announcements made about the future direction and its determined goals to promote greater democracy in Southeast Asia and beyond.


FORSEA Directors: Maung Zarni; Tan Wah Piow; and Hishamuddin Rais.

The official launch of FORSEA

As guest of honour in Kuala Lumpur, FORSEA looks forward to welcoming the reformist Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir Mohamad as keynote speaker.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad previously served as the Prime Minister from 1981 to 2003, making him the office’s longest-serving holder. Dr Mahathir returned to front line politics in 2017, aligning himself first with the popular campaign for free and fair elections. He resigned as a member of the conservative ruling party, and later led the opposition coalition to electoral victory on a reform and anti-corruption agenda in the 9th May 2018 General Elections.

In addition, Professor Noam Chomsky, one of the world’s most renowned public intellectuals will be delivering a specially recorded speech.

FORSEA Guiding Principles
  • to foster genuine solidarity ties among leading dissidents engaged in the revolutionary and/or reform movements against dictatorial and authoritarian regimes in the ASEAN region;
  • to explore concrete ways for strategic collaborations among different networks of dissidents and cross-national boundaries with political movements across the region, and beyond;
  • to establish a political tradition of collaboration beyond national, racial and religious silos so that People Power movements can mount effective revolt against the authoritarian regimes, and their models of racial/nationalistic developmental authoritarianism;
  • to coordinate efforts across the region designed to propagate progressive ideas and ideals such as democratic ethos, gender equality, ecological sensitivity and economic and social justice, through mass media and popular art mediums (films, songs, cartoons, performing art, posters, creative writings, etc.).


We are Southeast Asian democrats and rights campaigners committed to making our region fair, just and democratic.


Posted by FORSEA