Working for Democracy:Footprints From Civil Society In Malaysia is an attempt to capture the rich and transformatory experiences of Malaysian NGOs in their struggle for a democratic, just and inclusive society. The five experiences covered in this book include three organisations and coalition-building efforts around two issues. The People's Service Organisation(PSO) and the Kindergarten Teachers' Association (Persatuan Guru Tadika, PGT) are community-based service organisations working with the rural poor since the 1980s, while the Malaysia Youth and Student Democratic Movement(DEMA) is a relatively 'young' youth-based organisation formed in the late 1990s. The case studies on coalition building cover the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality(JAG) which focuses on women's rights;and another on groups and networks, such as Article 11 and BADAI, formed recently to contest issues around human rights and multi-religious rights. They have been selected based on their varied spheres of engagement-poverty, educaton, democracy and youth activism, religious freedom and women's rights.
When the rights of several groups intersect, whose rights are to be upheld? Who makes the decision to privilege the rights of some people over the other? Is it possible to reach a consensus or compromise where everybody feels their rights have been respected? These are but some of the important questions and contested issues this book seeks to raise for public discourse.