The first MAFDC Forum, “Defence and Security Forum on the Sulu and South China Seas”, was held on 16 March 2021, in collaboration with Projek Pertiwi, a Malaysian grassroot defence platform, led by young and emerging researchers, to educate the Malaysian public on defence issues of concern to Malaysia. At that time, the COVID-19 pandemic and South China Sea conflict were intensifying and online cross-border exchanges, such as the MAFDC Forum, were significant. The current MAFDC Forum, the third in its running, in partnership with the EAIR Caucus and the Australian High Commission in Malaysia, promoting discussions on South China Sea issues among top scholars from Australia, Malaysia, and Southeast Asian countries.
For the 3rd MAFDC Forum on the South China Sea in 2023, we will be focusing on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and Rules-based Maritime Order among top scholars from Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Australia and China. The discussion for this year will address issues on (i) the IUU Fishing in the South China Sea: Challenges and Opportunities for Practical Maritime Security Cooperation and (ii) Rules-based Maritime Order: Institutional and Regime Building in the Indo Pacific.