Syed Khairudin al-Junied

Associate Professor, National University of Singapore


Recent events across the Islamic world have called to attention the effectiveness of existing frameworks of governance in ensuring peace and stability in Muslim majority countries. Can Muslims fare better in governance without having to draw fully from established practices of statecraft? In this presentation, some lessons of governance are offered, gleaned from the history of states in the Malay World. Inspired by the teachings of Islam and local cultures, these states or kerajaan have proven to have been successful in creating a flourishing civilisation, marked by its cosmopolitanism, energetic commercial activities underpinned by political stability, lasting for generations. This paper also discusses how kings in several Malay-Islamic states employ assertive, but subtle, strategies to ensure the growth of their politics, all of which serve as lessons for Muslim states in our time.