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 Asmah Haji Omar


      Born on March 5, 1940, in Jitra, Kedah, Malaysia, Professor Asmah enjoys a universal reputation as the foremost authority on the indigenous languages of West Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah. Asmah retired in March 2000 as Professor of Malay Linguistics (since 1976), and Dean of the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, University of Malaya (since 1995). She spent her entire career, since 1963, at the latter university, where from December 1983 to November 1986, she was Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

     After graduating from Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, in Indonesian Language and Literature (B.A.,1961; M.A.,1963) she obtained her Ph.D. in General Linguistics, in 1969, from London University, and her dissertation was published as The Iban Language of Sarawak: A Grammatical Description. Kuala Lumpur: DBP, 1981. In 1998, she was awarded a D.Litt. degree in Malay Linguistics by the University of Malaya.

     She has served on various high-level governmental committees on language policy matters and has been a recipient of numerous invitations and visiting-professorships to Europe, North America, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, and certain Middle-East countries, notably as a Fulbright Visiting Scholar, British Council and Japan Foundation invitee.     

    She has done research in various fields of Linguistics but mainly in Sociolinguistics and Language Planning, General Linguistics, and Austronesian Historical Linguistics. She has published books and papers in both English and Malay on these topics. Lately she has also been interested in semantics and ethnolinguistics.

    Her 44 book publications include:  An Introduction to Malay Grammar (Co-Author: Rama Subbiah). Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, 1969; Essays on Malaysian Linguistics. KL: DBP, 1975;  Language Planning for Unity and Efficiency: A Study of the Language Corpus and Status Planning of Malaysia. KL: University of Malaya Press, 1979;  Language and Society in Malaysia. KL: DBP, 1982;  The Malay Peoples of Malaysia and Their Languages. KL:DBP, 1983;  The Linguistic Scenery in Malaysia. KL: DBP, 1992; Concepts of Conflict, War and Peace in the Malay Language. KL: Academy of Malay Studies, University of Malaya, 1998; Encyclopedia of Malaysia, Ed. Volume on Languages and Literatures, NY: Times International (forthcoming). She has published 33 chapters in books and 136 articles in academic journals, besides editing fourteen books and authoring ten school text-books.

   .Her books in Malay include: Morfologi - Sintaksis Bahasa Melayu (Malaya) dan Bahasa Indonesia: Satu Perbandingan. KL: DBP, 1968; Pengarajan Bahasa Malaysia Dalam Konteks Perancangan Bahasa Malaysia. KL: DBP, 1978; Kepelbagaian Fonologi Dialek-Dialek Melayu. KL: DBP, 1978; Aspek Penterjemahan  dan Interpretasi. Ed. KL: University of Malaya Press, 1979, etc.

    Among her numerous awards: the Malaysian title of Datuk (Dato' Setia DiRaja Kedah), in 1983; Avon Tan Sri Fatimah, awarded only to prominent women in Malaysia, in 1995; Chevalier dans l’ordre des Palmes Academiques, a French Ministry of Education award, in 1989; nominated « Woman of the Year 1998 » by the American Biography Institute; « 20th CAA Silver Medal of Honour » awarded by the International Biographical Centre in 1999.  

    Asmah Haji Omar has been the chairperson and/or organiser of far too many national and international conferences to be conveniently listed here. 








Born on November 25, 1955, a Pakistani citizen, married with two children, he is a highly trained political scientist with considerably varied experience in teaching his subject. He was appointed Assistant Professor in the Area Studies Centre for Africa, North & South America at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, Pakistan, in November 2000. His publications reveal a special focus on issues relating to Islam in West Asian countries, the question of Sikhs in the Punjab, developmental problems in contemporary Pakistan and related topics in a comparative light touching on India and China.


He holds the following degrees: Ph.D. (with Honours), Political Science, Northern Arizona University, AZ., USA, 1993; M.A. (International Studies), Fairleigh Dickinson University, N.J., USA, 1981, and B.A. (Political Science), Arizona State University, AZ., USA, 1979.


His fields of interest include International Relations, Comparative Politics, Governance, and American Studies, and his professional experience includes the following posts:


Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab, Lahore, 1984- 2000.


Consultant, IUCN-The World Conservation Union, Islamabad, report on Proposed Local Government System and Sustainable Conservation of Renewable Resources in Pakistan. May-Oct. 2000.


Consultant, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Scoping Mission on Governance, Feb. 22 - Mar. 22, 2000. Follow-up on May 4-12, July 23 & August 28, 2000.


Visiting Faculty, “Management: International and Comparative Perspectives”, BSc (Management), University of London (external program), Alta Vista College, Islamabad, 1999-2000.


1998-1999. Consultant, UNDP/Good Governance Group Project, Government of Pakistan, Planning & Development Division.


Delegate, World Conference on Governance (WorldCOG), “From Government to Governance: Moving into the 21st Century”, Manila, Philippines, May 31-June 4, 1999.


Academic Program Co-ordinator, D-8 Conference on Good Governance & Institutional Reforms, hosted by the Planning & Development Division, Good Governance Group, Islamabad, February 20-21, 1999.


Editor, D-8 Conference Report on Good Governance and Institutional Reforms, Feb.20-21 1999, Islamabad: Government of Pakistan, Planning & Development Division, Good Governance Group, 1999.


Participant in two-day national seminar on “Decentralisation of Development Management to Provincial and District Levels” Local Dialogue Group, UNDP & Federal Ministry of Finance, Revenue & Economic Affairs, Islamabad, 12-13 Mar. 1998. Chaired Constitutional, Legal and Political working group and presented report.


Participant in a two-day national workshop on “Performance Indicators in Public Sector Organisations” Good Governance Group, Prime Minister’s 2010 Program, Federal Ministry of Planning and Development, 21-22 Jan. 1998. Chaired Public Sector working group and presented report.


Instructor, “Critical Thinking”, BBA (honours) program, Hamdard University, Islamabad, 1998-1999.


Instructor, “American Government”, MBA program, and “International Politics”, BBA program, Punjab College of Business Administration (PCBA), Lahore, 1996-1998.


Consultancy for providing Inputs on Pakistan’s Past Year Political Events and Future Trends in the Process of Formulating SDC Annual Program, Swiss Development Cooperation (SCD), Embassy of Switzerland, Islamabad, Oct. 22-31, 1995.


Instructor, American Government, Houston Community College, Houston, TX, US, summer 1994.


Teaching Assistant, Political Science Department, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, US, 1990-1992.


Research Assistant, Political Science Department, Northern Arizona University, 1988-1990.




“Good Governance and Quality Management in Pakistan” National University of Science & Technology (NUST), Rawalpindi, July 9, 1999.


“Pakistan and Its Relations with the Muslim World”, Pakistan Navy War College, Lahore, Aug. 12, 1998.


“Productivity through Good Governance” National University of Science & Technology (NUST), Rawalpindi, Dec. 1, 1999.


“Crisis of Governance in Pakistan”, Foreign Service Academy, Islamabad, Nov. 29, 1999.


“Pakistan and Its Relations with the Muslim World”, Pakistan Navy War College, Lahore, Aug. 12, 1998.


“The Gulf: A Geo-Political and Geo-Strategic Strategic Survey”, Pakistan Navy War College, Lahore, Mar. 21, 1997.


“Fifty Years of Pakistan: Political Stability and Process of Democratisation”, FRIENDS Seminar, Lahore, Aug. 26, 1997.


“China and South Asia: Current Foreign Policy Dynamics”, FRIENDS Seminar, Lahore, June 7, 1997.


“State, Constitution and Nationalism”, National bank of Pakistan, Staff College, Lahore, Sep. 26, 1996.


“American Government and Political System” In-Service Training Summer Course, Directorate of Staff Development, Education Department, Government of the Punjab, Department of Political Science, Government College, Lahore, June 20-21, 1995




Books & Monographs


Islamic Fundamentalist Movements in Pakistan, Egypt and Iran. Lahore: Vanguard, 1995.


The Sikh Question: From Constitutional Demands to Armed Conflict, with Sarfaraz Hussain Mirza and Syed Farooq Hasnat. Lahore: University of the Punjab, 1985.


Analysis of National Reconstruction Bureau’s Plan for Decentralization and Devolution of Power and Responsibility, with Rashid Ahmad Khan, Political Science Series 1, Summer 2000, Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab, Lahore.


Bureaucracy in Pakistan: A Historical Analysis. Lahore: Progressive, 1990.


The Concept of an Islamic State. Lahore: Classic, 1989.


The Development Debate in India and Pakistan: Myth and Reality. Lahore: Progressive, 1989 & Urdu translation Taraki Ki Haqiqat. Lahore: Classic, 1989.


The Sindh Report. Lahore: Classic, 1989.


Book Chapters


“Conference on Good Governance and Institutional Reforms”, D-8 Conference Report on Good Governance and Institutional Reforms, February 21-22, Islamabad, ed. Sohail Mahmood, Islamabad: Government of Pakistan, Planning & Development Division, Good Governance Group, 1999 (1-18).


“Major Challenges in the Contemporary International Environment Shaping the Debate on Good Governance and Institutional Reforms” D-8 Conference Report on Good Governance and Institutional Reforms, February 21-22, Islamabad, ed. Sohail Mahmood, Islamabad: Government of Pakistan, Planning & Development Division, Good Governance Group, 1999, (111-162).


“The Measurement of Sound Governance”, D-8 Conference Report on Good Governance and Institutional Reforms, February 21-22, Islamabad, ed. Sohail Mahmood, Islamabad: Government of Pakistan, Planning & Development Division, Good Governance Group, 1999, (560-613)


“The State of the Economy of Pakistan”, Pakistan Today, Lahore: Progressive, 1987.


                                        Research Articles


“Globalization, Governance and Islam in the New Millennium”, Al-SIYASA: The Journal of Politics, Society and Culture, no. 1, summer 2000, Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab, Lahore, (75-97)


“Pakistan’s Governance Crisis”, Journal of the Research Society of Pakistan. University of the Punjab, Lahore, vol. 37, no. 3, July 2000, (19-39).


“Proposals for 2010 National Program”. Journal of the Research Society of Pakistan. University of the Punjab, Lahore, vol. 35 no. 2, April, Part I (25-50) and Part II, vol. 35 no. 3, July 1998 (17-46).


“An Analysis of Pakistan’s Transition Towards Democracy: Performance in the First Half Century”, National Development and Security Quarterly Journal, Islamabad, vol. VI no. 2, November, 1997 (121-162) and reprinted in Contemporary Affairs. Lahore: Caravan Enterprises, 1998.


Review of Mawdudi and the Making of Islamic Revivalism by Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr, In Iqbal Review: Journal of Iqbal Academy Pakistan, Lahore, vol. 38 no. 1, April, 1997 (170-182).


“China and South Asia”, National Development and Security Quarterly Journal, vol. V no. 1, Islamabad, November 1996


Review of Islam: The Fear and the Hope by Habib Boulares, In The Muslim World Book Review vol. 12 no. 3, spring 1992 (9-11).


Review of Islam and the Middle East: The Aesthetics of a Political Discourse by Mona Abul-Fadl, In The American       Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, Washington, D.C., vol. 8 no. 2, Sep. 1991 (342-346).


Review of State and Politics in Islam by Mumtaz Ahmad in the American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences (Herndon, VA) vol.7 no.3, Dec. 1990 (441-451).


Review of Islam in the World by Malise Ruthven, In Journal Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (Jeddah) vol.11 no.1, Jan. 1990 (178-183).


"India-Pakistan Current Military Balance." In Journal of the Research Society of Pakistan. Lahore: University of the Punjab, part I, vol. 24 no. 3 July 1987 (1-27) and part II vol. 24 no. 3, Oct. 1987, (45-65).



                                              Articles (Magazines & Newspapers)



"Poverty and low human development in Pakistan" Dawn, Jan. 2001.


“Reform of Pakistan’s fragile political System”, Pakistan Observer, part I Jan. 6, and part II Jan. 7, 2001.


“Musharraf and political reforms agenda”, Pakistan Observer, Dec. 21, 2000.


“System needs revamping”, Dawn, Oct. 21, 2000.


“Governance issues”, The Nation, Oct. 12, 2000.


“Devolution of power” The Nation, part I July 9, part II July 16, and part III July 23, 2000.


“Decentralization of power”, (special supplement on Devolution of Power), Pakistan Observer, May 5, 2000.


“Unique devolution of power plan”, (special supplement on Devolution of Power), Pakistan Observer, May 5, 2000.


“Citizens’ charter of human rights”, Pakistan Observer, May 4, 2000.


“Need for an Islamic paradigm”, Dawn, April 28, 2000.


“The political party system”, Pakistan Observer, part I April 9, and part II April 10, 2000.


“Public-private partnership model” Pakistan Observer, Mar. 15, 2000


“Quest for government”, Pakistan Observer, Mar. 9, 2000.


“Local government: lessons we can learn”, Pakistan Observer, Mar. 5, 2000


“Decentralization of power” Pakistan Observer, Feb. 29, 2000.


“Pakistan, globalisation, and the new millennium”, The Nation, Jan. 23, 2000.


“The lessons learnt?” Pakistan Observer, Jan. 4, 2000.


“Reforming the system and economy”, Pakistan Observer, Jan. 1, 2000.


“The Islamic paradigm of politics”, Pakistan Observer, Dec. 1, 1999.


"Ethics, values, and the development process". (Part I & II), The Pakistan Times, Nov. 22 & 23, 1999.


“Political and economic agenda for the next millennium” The News, Nov. 2, 1999.


“A debate on the issue of development in Pakistan” The Facts International (Lahore) vol. 8 no. 24, June 1997.


“An agenda for the reform of Pakistan’s parliamentary system”, The Facts International (Lahore) vol. 8 no. 21, June 1997.


“Reform of the parliamentary system of Pakistan” The Facts International (Lahore) vol. 8 no. 9, Mar. 1997.


“An agenda for reform of Pakistan’s political system”, The Facts International (Lahore) vol. 8 no. 4, Jan. 1997.


“The crisis of governance in Pakistan”, The Facts International (weekly) vol. 8 no. 1, Jan. 1997.


“Politics of alliances and agitation”, Frontier Post, Sep. 16, 1996.


“Reform of the public administration set-up”, Frontier Post, Sep. 2, 1996.


“Politics of expediency”, Frontier Post, June 28, 1996.


“Change for the better”, Frontier Post, June 21, 1996.


“Historical perspective BJP: roots of venom”, part I Frontier Post, May 31 & Part II, “Caution is the watchword”, June 7, 1996.


“Facing the Reality”, Frontier Post, Jan. 26, 1996.


“A Shadow of Gloom”, Frontier Post, Jan. 19, 1996


“Rivals till Eternity”, Frontier Post, Jan. 1, 1996.


“Peace too Precious”, Frontier Post, Dec. 29, 1995.


"The Political Dynamics of Contemporary Islamic Fundamentalist Movements: A Comparative Study of Pakistan, Egypt and Iran", Our Times Monthly (Los Angeles, CA) vol. 1, no. 5 & 6, 1994.


"The Just Struggle", The Message International. (monthly), New York: USA. Dec. 1991.


"Pakistan: Facing the Population Challenge." The Muslim, Aug. 11, 1987.


“Review of Security for the Weak Nations: A Multiple Perspective by Syed Farooq Hasnat”, Pakistan Times, April 24, 1987.


"A Special Report on Defence Technology."(Urdu translation). Jang Friday Magazine, Jan. 10, 1987.


"Sind in Turmoil." (Urdu translation). Jang Friday Magazine. Part I Sept. 25; and Part II, Dec. 18, 1986.


"A Report on the Educational Crisis in Pakistan." Dawn Friday Magazine. Part I Aug. 8; Part II Aug. 14; and Part III Aug. 22, 1986.




Area Studies Centre for Africa,

North & South America,

Quaid-i-Azam University,

Islamabad 45320

Tel: (92-51) 2230834

Fax: (92-51) 2230833



House No. 10, Street No. 24,

F-8/2, Islamabad

Tel:(92-51) 2255923

E-Mail: sohailma@isb.comsats.net.pk








T.Ruthiran (aka Ravi Ananda Shankar)


        Born December 1, 1937 in Singapore. Died November 1,1996 in Adelaide, South Australia. He was awarded a doctoral fellowship at Flinders University in Adelaide in 1994, after obtaining a First Class Honours degree in History at the same university in 1993.

        Title of unfinished dissertation: “Tamil Muslims in Tamil Nadu, Malaysia, and Singapore: a study of their historical identity, problems of adjustment, and change in the twentieth century.” Thesis supervisor: Dr. Lance Brennan.

         He had his primary and lower secondary schooling in Kuala Lumpur, and secondary schooling in Jaffna, Sri Lanka (1950 – 55). On his return to Malaysia, he took his Cambridge Overseas School (and Higher School) Certificate exams at the Methodist Boys School in Kuala Lumpur, and then taught English Literature and Geography at Government and Private schools from 1959 to 1967.

         He then studied to become an Electronics Technician in Sydney, Australia and worked as a Technical Officer, becoming with time a Senior Technical Officer in-charge of videos in the television studios, at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Canberra, from 1969 to 1990. He became an Australian citizen in 1976.

          For health reasons, he retired from active service and became a student at Flinders University. He was a very gifted radio and television repairs man from a very early age, having followed correspondence courses in the field, but lacked the necessary background in mathematics to take up further studies in engineering, which was his first choice.

          In spite of his earlier qualifications and professional training, he proved that he was equally gifted in the arts, for he had a particular bent for music, especially Indian music which he sought to promote by recording, manufacturing and disseminating audio cassettes all by himself during his student days, under the trade name of Sruti Sounds. His assumed name:

R. A. Shankar comes down to him, by choice, from one of his ancestors.







      Born in Kuala Krai, Malaysia. Up to his twenty-first year grew up in Singapore, Port Swettenham, Klang, Sungei Rengam, Kuala Lumpur, Madras and Seremban; then in London, Heidelberg, West Berlin, Madrid and Paris. Served as Research Fellow with the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), from 1973 to 1998. Lectured for the Commonwealth Institute, London, on South and Southeast Asia and taught courses in English, American, and Commonwealth literatures at the European Division of the University of Maryland and at the Sorbonne.

       Was a journalist with the Malay Mail & Malayan Times (Kuala Lumpur), and the Straits Times Press Group of Singapore (London Correspondent).

       Education: He had four years of schooling at Batu Road School and the Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur. Inns of Court School of Law, London; Universities of Heidelberg and West Berlin (philosophy); Hispanic Studies in Madrid: Universidad Complutense, and Instituto de la Cultura Hispanica, and at the Université de Paris-VIII (Maitrise d’Enseignement d’Espagnol); obtained his higher doctoral degree [D.Litt.] in aesthetics from the Université de Paris-I-Panthéon-Sorbonne (Doctorat d’Etat ès lettres et sciences humaines). Distinctions in both the master’s and doctoral degrees. Won the Extraordinary Prize in Hispanic Studies at Madrid University.

       Publications include: Tracks of a Tramp: A first collection of poems. (1961); Bunga Emas: An Anthology of Contemporary Malaysian Literature: 1930-63. Ed. (1964); Etude comparée des littératures nationales et/ou officielles de la Malaisie et de Singapour depuis 1940, 3 vols. (1988); Fire Readings: A Collection of Writings from the Shakespeare & Company Fire Benefit Readings, Co-ed. (1991); Journal of Comparative Poietics/Revue de Poïétique Comparée (Founder editor:1989-). Contributed over a hundred articles and/or fictional pieces to a wide variety of popular and learned journals, and books, such as, The Journal of Commonwealth Literature (Leeds University), Asia:A Handbook (London), The Journal of the Institute of Asian Studies (Institute of Asian Studies, Chennai, India), Buddhism in Tamil Nadu (IAS, India), International Institute of Asian Studies Newsletter (Leiden), Journal of Asian Studies (USA), Komparatistische Hefte (Bayreuth University), Yearbook of ASNLE (Essen University), Journal of Eelam Studies (London), Lanka: Studies in Lankan Culture (Uppsala University), Radical Poetics (London), Forum Academicum (Heidelberg University), Discus (Frankfurt University), Fire Readings (Paris-Boston), The Gombak Review (IIUM University, Kuala Lumpur), Malayan Times(Kuala Lumpur), Le Canard Laqué (Institute of Political Science, Paris), http://www.viweb.tsx.org/ (Victoria Institution literary archives), http://victorians.bizhosting.com/victimes23/. and so forth. Check the Bibliothèque Nationale de France http://www.bnf.fr/ for other works.

         Editorial board member of Le Canard Laqué ( Association Asie-Extrême, Institute of Political Science, Paris: 1989-91); editorial advisor and guest editor of the Journal of the Institute of Asian Studies (Chennai, India: 1998- ), and Guidepost (Spain: 1967).       

        Languages: Tamil (mother tongue), Malay, English, Spanish, German, French, and some Chinese.

        A Stateless Person since 1969. Cf. Marquis’ Who’s Who in the World; Who’s Who in EACLALS (European Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies) 1995; and CD ROM Best-Europe.








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The Asianists’ ASIA, Vol. 2 (Paris), February 2001-02-25


Edited by T.Wignesan


ISSN  1298-0358


Composed and printed by T.Wignesan

      for the Centre de Recherches sur les Etudes Asiatiques

       at      5, Boulevard Pablo Picasso,

                94000 Créteil (Paris),



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