The Centre for Dialogue (C4D) is Wawasan Open University's modest attempt at creating a forum in Penang, for open and closed dialogues and discussion, on matters of public interest by the nation's scholars, thought leaders, policy makers, civic interest groups and individuals, who in one way or another influence the nation's collective attitudes and views.  The late Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik, who had always strived, during his distinguished political career, to bring reason and civility on many issues that divided rather than united the diversity that is Malaysia, first mooted the idea of such a dialogue centre, when he launched Wawasan Open University in early 2007.

The C4D is located in the main campus in Penang.  It operates under the umbrella of WOU's Institute for Research and Innovation (IRI).  It is fully supported by the Wawasan Education Foundation (WEF).


C4D is dedicated to promoting greater understanding of different viewpoints especially on contemporary issues that are of great interest to Malaysians of all walks of life.


To facilitate dialogues amongst informed individuals on contemporary economic, development and socio-political issues that impact on our society, and to share these thoughts and ideas by making them available to the greater population through publications and occasional open public lectures and forums, such as the Chancellor's Lecture Series.

  • Provide an open and neutral venue for the exchange of both convergent and divergent views and ideas.  The intention is be a catalyst to throw light rather than generate heat on sometimes difficult subjects.
  • Make available the dialogue discussion to the public.


  • To provide a dialogue platform through the organising of seminars and public lectures for the exchange of views and opinions of thought leaders, opinion makers, intellectuals and experts in selected fields of interest to the Centre and Malaysians;
  • To initiate dialogues and share the outcome of these dialogues or discussions by publishing reports and strategic issues which can be utilised by decision-makers in the public and private sectors;
  • To act as a bridge between civil society and the establishment on issues of national importance;
  • To undertake research on selected strategic topics as well as conduct professional development programmes;
  • To publish proceedings of outcomes.

Board of Advisors

Chairman: Tan Sri Emeritus Prof Gajaraj Dhanarajan


  • Prof Dato' Dr Ho Sinn Chye - Vice Chancellor of WOU
  • Dato' Anwar Fazal - Veteran social activist
  • Dr Prema Devaraj - Human rights advocate
  • Dr Mustafa Kamal Anuar - Fellow at Penang Institute
  • Dr Wong Chin Huat - Fellow at Penang Institute
  • Dr S Nagarajan - Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, WOU
  • Mr R Padmanathan - Former and founding Registrar of WOU