Archive for category Articles
by Lee Shi-Ian & Muzliza Mustafa
The Malaysian Insider
December 31, 2013
Thousands defied Putrajaya and rallied at Dataran Merdeka tonight against the rising cost of goods and services, as police looked on after warning for days earlier it was a gathering to topple the ruling coalition.
The boisterous crowd which had streamed to the fringe of the square from Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Masjid India and Central Market was largely peaceful, but several lines of police officers stood between them and revellers who had gathered in the square for the national new year’s eve countdown celebration.
“Inside is for those who want to celebrate New Year’s Eve. If you want to protest, you may do so on the other side,” said Dang Wangi OCPD Zainulddin Ahmad.
However, police, just after 11pm, relented as the streaming crowd breached the police and City Hall barricades to join the revelers in the square.
Just before midnight the concert at the Dataran Merdeka was halted in view of the surge of protestors. City Hall personnel formed a line in front of the stage, and the lights were turned off. Read the rest of this entry »
Dec 28, 2013
Media activists have poured cold water on the Home Ministry’s explanation that news weekly The Heat’s suspension was due to its failure to comply with technical provisions under its publishing permit.
At a forum in Kuala Lumpur last night to show solidarity with The Heat, Malaysiakini chief editor Fathi Aris Omar bluntly called the explanation “bulls**t”.
Fathi pointed out that the government has had a history of indefinitely suspending publications on technical grounds when upset with their contents. Read the rest of this entry »
By Boo Su-Lyn
The Malay Mail Online
December 28, 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 — The Malaysian Bar urged Putrajaya today to abolish the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) 1984 and to establish a Media Council instead, amid an indefinite suspension of The Heat weekly.
Malaysian Bar president Christopher Leong criticised the recent suspension of The Heat that was ordered shortly after the paper reported on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s “big spending” nature in its November 23 to 29 issue, calling it an “unwarranted attack” on press freedom, as well as on freedom of speech and expression.
“Action against The Heat is merely the latest event in a long list of state actions to suppress the press,” Leong said in a statement today.
“Other instances include incidents during which the minister of home affairs harassed a Malaysiakini journalist who was asking him questions, and threatened to shut down newspapers that reported his speech in Malacca the following day; and the physical assault and abuse of media professionals by the police during the Bersih 3.0 public assembly in Kuala Lumpur on April 28, 2012,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malay Mail Online
October 4, 2013
Oct 4 — Most Malays would like to think that their race is one that is proud and as old as time, and thus will remain pure and noble until the end of it all.
“Takkan Melayu hilang di dunia,” (Malays will never become extinct) they would repeat ad nauseam, parroting the words allegedly spoken by the icon of that noble Malay man: Hang Tuah.
Bereft of achievements that they can be immensely proud of as Malaysians, numerous Malays have retreated into a cocoon, where race and religion have become their defining marks.
I had the most interesting opportunity to immerse myself in this mentality last weekend as I sat in on a symposium called “Mendepani Agenda Asing” (Facing foreign agenda), or MEGA, co-organised by the Islamist NGO Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA). Read the rest of this entry »
A tongue-in-cheek piece
by Sheela R
It takes so little to offend these days. Be it a movie, a book, an artwork or even a rock concert, it has become almost fashionable to denounce slightest aberration to our perceived high moral standards.
I for one, am deeply offended by the sight of a particular purple dinosaur, making its appearance on pre-schoolers’ television programmes. Let me elucidate with well-thought-out points, one by one.
It is purple in colour. It is a well-known fact from Stephen Spielberg’s movies that dinosaurs are brown and perhaps yellow, but definitely not purple. (Well he is as good an authority as any other and, being Malaysian, you will surely excuse me for the shoddy and completely unsubstantiated research.) We are misleading pre-schoolers with this erroneous fact and worse, there lies a danger that they may grow up wanting to dress as gender-neutral purple dinosaurs. Do I detect a certain derision in you? Well I am merely following the example set by our well-meaning officials, who choose to ban performing artists on account of their dressing, for fear of corrupting our Malaysian youth with their sartorial tastes. Read the rest of this entry »
by Sheela R.
As a young girl, growing up in multi-cultural Malaysia, I have had my fair share of challenges. Raised as a vegetarian long before it was recognised and accepted as a healthy lifestyle, I have had to constantly explain my dietary habits to people who are unaquainted with vegetarianism.
As a student at the primary and secondary levels, I had to frequently put up with comments such as,
“Oh! You don’t know what you are missing!”
“If you eat only vegetables you are going to grow up looking green!”
“If you don’t eat meat you won’t be strong!”
“Ikan tak boleh, ayam tak boleh, semua tak boleh, kesian!”
“A vegetarian? What’s that? Are you some sort of vegetable?”
Naturally, such comments riled me, but over the years, I grew to understand that they stemmed from silliness or ignorance rather than wilful malice. I learned not to react to such distasteful comments but to respond with dignity. I eventually found ways to explain to others, the socio-cultural reasons for my diet. Invariably, once they understood my reasons for abstaining from meat, they became highly respectful and sensitive towards my dietary requirements. Read the rest of this entry »
by John Berthelsen
May 29, 2013 10:49AM UTC
National elections on May 5 haven’t cooled political and racial tensions, writes Asia Sentinel’s John Berthelsen
Any hope that May 5 national elections in Malaysia would cool the political atmosphere appears to have been misguided, leaving a country entangled in deepening racial problems and creating the risk of a real threat to the legitimacy of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s reign.
While not calling for Najib’s removal, the prime minister’s most potent critic, former Premier Mahathir Mohamad, damned him with faint praise, telling Bloomberg News in an interview in Tokyo last week that the United Malays National Organization will continue to support him “because of a lack of an alternative.” Read the rest of this entry »
by Erna Mahyuni
The Malaysian Insider
MAY 29, 2013
“To boldly go where no man has gone before.” I still get the shivers when I hear that old Star Trek line.
Looking back, things we take for granted now like telepresence conferences, virtual reality and touch screens were mere fantasy, fancies of the imagination.
Dreams matter. But what has happened to our own abilities to dream? The problem, I think, with Malaysians and their leaders is that we set our sights too low.
An educationist told me our English syllabus is so infantile as we must “follow the standards of Malaysian students.”
We want our children to fly and yet assume that all they can do is crawl. Read the rest of this entry »
by Aerie Rahman
The Malaysian Insider
MAY 20, 2013
Move aside Khairy Jamaluddin and Saifuddin Abdullah — we have a new poster boy for change within the Barisan National power structure. Not used to flamboyance and only recently baring the fangs of radicalism, Zahid Hamidi has sparked a debate on a new form of politics: migratory politics.
With his decree demanding that those who are unhappy with the current political system migrate to republican states, this man is a maverick. He is braving the tide by countering Najib Razak’s efforts to stem the pernicious brain drain beleaguering this nation. We need more mavericks within BN! Not mere “yes men” whose servitude are repulsive, but men with independent minds. Zahid fits the bill. This is a man to watch, Malaysia! Read the rest of this entry »
There is a saying which is often at the tip of our tongue: “With friends like these, who needs enemies?” Which is to say there are times when friends do seem to behave like our worst enemies.
But at times, the reverse could be equally true: with enemies like these who needs friends!
Let me hasten to say that I don’t consider those with whom I may disagree politically as my enemies. If there are no two teams, you won’t have a football match. If there are not at least two sides, we won’t have an elections. Read the rest of this entry »
by P Ramakrishnan
Was there an agreement before the general election? Did Chinese Malaysians actually promise the BN their votes ahead of time, asks P Ramakrishnan.
Discredited politicians are trying to denigrate the Chinese by accusing them of betrayal. What betrayal are they talking about? Do they indeed know what they are talking about?
When you talk of betrayal, it means going back on one’s word. It means dishonouring a solemn pledge.
For this to take place there must have been a clear understanding and undertaking between two parties. In this case it would be the Barisan Nasional and the Chinese community reaching an understanding and pledging to vote in a mutually acceptable manner with regard to GE13. Read the rest of this entry »
by Ravinder Singh
The Malaysian Insider
MAY 16, 2013
The myth about multi-stream schools being obstacles to unity keeps on being bandied about by racists who cannot see, or rather refuse to see, the wood for the trees.
The latest call for the banning of vernacular schools was by no less a personality than the pro-chancellor of Universiti Technology Mara (UiTM), Tan Sri Dr Abdul Rahman Arshad, at a GE13 post-mortem forum “Muslim Leadership and Survival” organised by the Federation of Peninsula Malay Students (GPMS) and the UiTM Alumni Association. This imagined, simplistic solution to improving race relations has been shot out by many people — politicians, academicians, administrators, etc — over the years.
It’s amazing how people in important positions try to shove their perceptions, or even falsehoods, on the masses by making them appear like facts. If there are listeners who believe these people, it is simply because the listeners have no knowledge of the issue at hand and so they think these important people surely know best. But do they? Read the rest of this entry »
by Kee Thuan Chye
Now that the 13th general election (GE13) is over and Najib Razak has been sworn in as prime minister and his Cabinet has been formed, what happens to the Opposition Pakatan Rakyat and the massive numbers of people who wanted change, as reflected in the popular vote?
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has done the right thing in not accepting the result of GE13 on grounds of fraud, and he has been going around rallying support for his cause, but where this will lead is highly uncertain.
Meanwhile, PKR strategist Rafizi Ramli has announced that Pakatan is investigating the results of 27 parliament seats which were won by the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) narrowly. If he and his team are able to prove fraud or wrong tabulation of the votes, there might be a case made for them. But where? In the courts? Would they get the justice they seek? Read the rest of this entry »
by Johan S Abdullah & SY
4:34PM May 16, 2013
I totally agree with the remarks of Lim Kit Siang in Malaysiakini on May 11, 2013. His message clearly propagated unity. Gone are the days of May 13.
Words that are spoken to cause disunity and the fear of that date should be regarded as sedition, as that in itself, is not in line with the Rukunegara or the creed of the nation.
We must from today affix our minds and hearts on the vision of our founding fathers. Malaysia should be for Malaysians and not just any race.
We must be a country which will give and grant justice and fairness to all regardless of skin colour or creed. Read the rest of this entry »
by Koon Yew Yin
Even before the elections took place, various UMNO leaders led by Dr. Mahathir and Utusan Malaysia have led the onslaught against the Chinese in the country. Now the results are in, they are taking to a new level the politics of suspicion, hatred and revenge in the Malay masses for what they say as a betrayal by the Chinese voters.
There are several undeniable contrary facts to their thinking. Firstly, as others have pointed out, the so-called Chinese tsunami was actually a Malaysian tsunami which accounted for the largest ever proportion of total votes – in fact the majority – going to the opposition. Simple arithmetic explains why Chinese who comprise less than 30% of the total population can barely account for at most half the total votes cast against the BN even if all Chinese had voted against the BN. Read the rest of this entry »
by HARI RAJ
Former journalist for The Star in Malaysia
Every four or five years since they won independence from British rule in 1957, Malaysians have shuffled off to the polls. Every four or five years, they have woken up the next morning with the status quo intact. The country’s ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional, has been in power for every one of the past 56 years.
Malaysia goes to the polls again on Sunday. But many of the country’s citizens are buoyed by an unfamiliar sentiment: hope for change. Read the rest of this entry »
by Jayant Menon, ADB and ANU, and Thiam Hee Ng, ADB
East Asia Forum
April 25th, 2013
Private investment in Malaysia never fully recovered from the impact of the Asian financial crisis.
Foreigners have continued to shun Malaysia, but it now seems that even domestic investors are fleeing, with Malaysia becoming a net exporter of capital since 2005. One explanation for the sluggish performance of domestic private investment relates to the crowding-out effect of the growing dominance of government-linked corporations (GLCs) in many sectors. The influence of GLCs, however measured, is both widespread and pervasive.
The GLC share of operating revenue is approximately one-third in the aggregate, and they control more than half the industry share in utilities, transportation, warehousing, agriculture, banking, information communications and retail trade. GLCs employ around 5 per cent of the national workforce and account for approximately 36 per cent and 54 per cent, respectively, of the market capitalisation of Bursa Malaysia and the benchmark Kuala Lumpur Composite Index. Read the rest of this entry »
by Kee Thuan Chye
The purest and most heartwarming feature of this upcoming general election, predicted to be the dirtiest ever in Malaysian history, is the solidarity of the Malaysians who are calling for ubah (change) and proclaiming, “Ini kalilah!” (This is the time to do it!)
In the course of a year, it has swelled into a movement. Partly from the Bersih rallies that brought people closer together because they went through adverse circumstances together. Partly from the rallies organised by the Opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, that gave hope of a viable alternative to Malaysians disenchanted by 55 years of Barisan Nasional (BN) rule. Read the rest of this entry »
by Susan Loone
8:31AM May 4, 2013
PENANG Pakatan Rakyat held several gatherings in Penang yesterday, including a mammoth rally at the Esplanade which was swarmed by about 100,000 people who stayed until midnight.
This is the coalition’s biggest rally on the island where it managed to collect a record RM505,000 in donations from its supporters.
The carnival-like event, which included a stage and canopy, dozens of hawker stalls and DAP’s own merchandise sales corner, kicked off at 5pm while about 500 people watched a mini-concert by local bands such as Zombie Station, TUC, and Sweet Scream.
The open field facing the iconic British-styled Town Hall building was packed by 8pm, including youths and senior citizens, and the crowd spilled over onto the surrounding roads.
Several small separate rallies were held in front of the Town Hall and nearby Clock Tower with groups of supporters waving opposition party flags while blowing the vuvuzuela, wildly deafening to the ears. Read the rest of this entry »
Apr 28th 2013, 6:53 by Banyan | SINGAPORE
THE story of Lim Guan Eng, chief minister of the Malaysian state of Penang, tells much about how Malaysian politics has been transformed in recent years. Mr Lim heads the Democratic Action Party or DAP, a member of the three-party opposition coalition hoping to wrest power from the ruling Barisan Nasional in a general election on May 5th.
This is the first time since independence from Britain in 1957 that the opposition has a genuine—if still outside—chance of winning a federal-government election. That follows its startling advance in the previous general election in 2008, when, as this year, 12 of Malaysia’s 13 states held simultaneous elections. One of the opposition’s triumphs was to win the thriving state of Penang, an island off the west coast famous for its electronics and tourism industries. Read the rest of this entry »