Archive for category Sarawak

Once docile Sarawak native villagers turning anti-BN activists

by Sheridan Mahavera
The Malaysian Insider
2 November 2015

Iban farmer Jimmy Saban did not care much about politics until the day government men, some of them armed with guns, came to take away the land that’s been in his clan and family for generations.

Saban is one of the growing numbers of unassuming farmers, foragers and peasants who are now anti-Barisan Nasional activists, and whose fervent talks against the Sarawak government could be a factor in the coming state elections.

What distinguishes 61-year-old Saban from the middle-class, urbanised opposition activist is that he is a farmer, just like those he speaks to.

Most importantly, he has seen first-hand how tribes people lose their lands in shady deals by private companies who are often backed by the state authorities.

Saban’s story of how tribal lands are still being unscrupulously taken away counters the narrative that is being churned out by chief minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s administration and that of the federal BN. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP winning hearts and minds in Sarawak’s remotest areas

by Sheridan Mahavera
The Malaysian Insider
31 October 2015

In the villages of Peninsular Malaysia, the DAP still gets a bad rap, but in an increasing number of out-of-the-way places in Sarawak, the opposition party has been received with open arms.

On September 27, it completed a water supply project for Kampung Long Luping in Lawas, a little Orang Ulu hamlet close to the Indonesian border in central Kalimantan.

This comes just months before the Sarawak state elections, which have to be held on or before September 20, 2016. Read the rest of this entry »

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After roads and water, Impian Sarawak offers education, medical services

BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA
The Malaysian Insider
Published: 7 October 2015 9:00 AM

Children entertained by a lion dance during an educamp organised by Impian Sarawak in Kampung Pasir, Miri, on September 23. The project is part of DAP’s community service initiative in the Borneo states. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Seth Akmal, October 7, 2015.

Ros Matius Mian has never seen her four children so impatient to go to school, with the youngest waking up even before the break of dawn to get ready for classes.

But that was the experience of many parents in the squatter colony of Kampung Pasir, 30 minutes from Miri. For about a week, their bleak surroundings were transformed into a riot of screaming kids and colourful pendants because of Impian Sarawak’s education camp.
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Call for an overall review of Federal-State relations in Malaysia to effect greater decentralisation and confer greater autonomy from Putrajaya to all state governments, not just Sarawak and Sabah

September 16, Malaysia Day, was marred by the Red Shirts Malay rally organised by UMNO, although it did not officially showed its hand at the time and which, among other things, desecrated the meaing and importance of Malaysia Day as the foremost national public holiday in the country.

Sarawak and Sabah cannot but feel slighted that on Malaysia Day, UMNO had chosen to devalue Malaysia Day by sponsoring a Red Shirts Malay rally in Kuala Lumpur which not only stole the national and international spotlight from the 52nd anniversary of Malaysia’s formation, the federation of Malaysia was at best a second-thought after the primacy of Ketuanan Melayu of UMNO leaders.

However, Malaysia Day this year was a bit different from Malaysia Day of the past five decades, primarily because it is beginning to sink in among the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and UMNO leaders and they owe their continued political rule of the country to the support and loyalty of the Members of Parliament in Sarawak and Sabah, as without the support of the 48 Barisan Nasional MPs in Sabah and Sarawak, Najib will not be Prime Minister of Malaysia today nor could UNMO continue as “Big Brother” in the Federal Government in Putrajaya.

With the approaching Sarawak State Government Elections in a matter of months and the 14th General Elections in the next 24 to 32 months, Sarawak and Sabah would expect a New Deal from Putrajaya to continue to be the fixed deposit states of the UMNO/BN coalition government in Putrajaya and this is the reason for all the talk about granting greater autonomy to Sarawak and Sabah in recent days. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib’s “well done” for the darkest hour in Malaysia in 46 years after the May 13 1969 racial riots highlights the widening gulf between ordinary Malaysians and the UMNO/BN leadership

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s praise of “well done” for the darkest hour in Malaysia in 46 years after the May 13, 1969 racial riots – the Red Shirts Sept. 16 Rally – highlights the widening gulf between ordinary Malaysians regardless of whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans or Ibans and the small coterie of UMNO/BN leadership.

Apart from the 45,000 “Red Shirts” who were bused into Kuala Lumpur from all over Peninsular Malaysia in some 2,000 buses, Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, age, gender or politics are ashamed of the Red Shirts “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” rally in Kuala Lumpur on Sept. 16, which desecrated the 52nd Malaysia Day when the day should be an occasion for all Malaysians to strengthen national integration and counter the divisive and centrifugal forces seeking the division and disintegration of the nation.

Sept. 16 should be a day of solidarity for the reaffirmation of the unity, integrity and sovereignty of Malaysia at two levels – firstly, of the diverse races, religions, languages and cultures which have come together to make Malaysia their home and an “Instant Asia” and secondly, the union of Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak into a new nation in South-east Asia in 1963 by smoothing out the knots and kinks of nationhood in the past five decades – in particular the legitimate grievances felt by Sarawakians and Sabahans about their neglect and underdevelopment in the past half century.

Instead, Sabah and Sabah were virtually forgotten on Sept. 16 as national and international attention riveted on the Red Shirt “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” in Kuala Lumpur, and the thoughts of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his Cabinet were on the Red Shirts rally although they were physically in Kota Kinabalu that day – when they should be focusing on the issues and challenges of devolution and decentralization of powers from Putrajaya to Sabah and Sarawak with more autonomy in various jurisdictions for the two states. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sabah and Sarawak should appoint State Ministers of Education not only in anticipation of grant of education autonomy to the states by Putrajaya, but to discuss with Federal Government and stakeholders on the definition and scope of state autonomy on education

In keeping with his promise to empower both Sabah and Sarawak, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday unveiled a slew of measures to benefit both states.

He said 90% of teaching posts in both states will be filled by Sabahans and Sarawakians within three years.

With this, the number of Sarawakian teachers will be increased from 32,168 now to 38,082 in the state, with a similar increase in Sabah.

Najib said approval for tenders involving federal projects would be done at the state level by a committee comprising the state secretary and other civil servants.

A joint committee of federal and Sabah/Sarawak officers will be set up to evaluate the administrative aspects of the empowerment exercise so that it would be carried out in an orderly manner.

It is however totally unsatisfactory in the decentralisation of powers and functions from Putrajaya to Sabah and Sarawak is solely in the administrative and not in ay substantive sense. Read the rest of this entry »

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Death knell for Barisan Nasional?

Is the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council last night the death knell for Barisan Nasional?

After the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced that Barisan Nasional component parties have “agreed to disagree” on the September 16 Red-Shirts “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” rally in Kuala Lumpur after Umno’s BN partners voiced their objection to it at the meeting.

He said: “There are many who have voiced their concern over the rally, and as BN chairman I respect their opinions.

“The component parties had voiced out many opinions and we had decided to agree to disagree on it.”

Najib cannot be more wrong. As BN Chairman, he should not just respect the opinions of the leaders of the other political parties in Barisan Nasional, he must comply with their views unless there is a consensus decision by all the BN coalition parties supporting a Red-Shirts “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” rally in KL tomorrow.

What has happened to the much-vaunted consensus principle of Barisan Nasional which had been hailed as the key to BN’s success? Read the rest of this entry »

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Tale of two T-shirts, two rallies and two Malaysia Day highlight the gravity of the prolonged crisis of confidence which plague Malaysia why Malaysians must think beyond race, religion, region or even politics to Save Malaysia

The tale of two T-shirts, two rallies and two Malaysia Day highlight the gravity of the prolonged crisis of confidence which plague Malaysia and why Malaysians must think beyond race, religion, region or even politics to Save Malaysia.

Two T-shirts

There is firstly the yellow Bersih 4 T-shirt, with the five objectives of:

*Free and Fair Elections.

*A Transparent Government.

*The Right to Demonstrate.

*Strengthening the Parliamentary Democracy System.

*Saving the Economy of Malaysia.

Then there is the red T-shirt screaming the slogan “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu”, with the explicit threat of communal confrontation and if the message was not clear enough, there was also also the vivid imagery of a communal “bloodbath”. Read the rest of this entry »

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September 16 will be a double test for Najib ,as to how committed he is to the Malaysia idea and whether he would allow the country to be held to ransom by irresponsible elements who want to hold a racist “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” rally in KL

September 16, 2015 will be a double test for the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, firstly as to how committed he is to the Malaysia idea; and secondly, whether he would show leadership and not allow the country to be held to ransom by irresponsible elements who want to provoke racial tensions and temperatures in the country by holding a racist “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” rally in Kuala Lumpur.

Although the Prime Minister has an appointment with the Chief Ministers of Sabah and Sarawak at Padang Merdeka in Kota Kinabalu on Malaysia Day to sign the commemorative Malaysia Day document to re-enact the formation of Malaysia 52 years ago, this is meaningless PR “public relations” gimmick unless it is accompanied by substantive announcements by Najib on the concrete measures Putrajaya will take to end the half-century of neglect and underdevelopment of Sabah and Sarawak – like increase of oil royalties to Sabah and Sarawak and the granting of autonomy on education and other jurisdictions to the two states!

The other test for Najib on Malaysia Day is whether he would allow the country to be held to ransom by irresponsible elements who want to provoke racial tensions and temperatures in the country by holding a racist “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” rally in Kuala Lumpur. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sept 16, 2015 should be a red-letter Malaysia Day marking first important steps by Putrajaya to restore genuine autonomy to Sabah and Sarawak which should not be spoilt or overshadowed by “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” rally in KL

On the 52nd Malaysia Day on Sept. 16 next Wednesday, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should not just be in Kota Kinabalu for a Public Relations gimmick to join the Sabah and Sarawak Chief Ministers at Padang Merdeka to sign the commemorative Malaysia Day document to re-enact the formation of Malaysia 52 years ago.

More is expected of the Prime Minister to do something more substantive, as giving import and significance to the occasion, especially in the meeting of the Prime Minister with the Chief Ministers and Sabah and Sarawak such as to mark Putrajaya’s first important steps to restore genuine autonomy to Sabah and Sarawak.

Najib has committed himself to grant more autonomy to Sabah and Sarawak, and the 52nd Malaysia Day on Sept. 16, in his sixth year as Malaysian Prime Minister, should be the historic occasion to see the start of the process of Putrajaya honouring such a commitment.

There are at least four things Najib could do on Sept. 16 to begin the “first step in the journey of thousand miles” to grant meaningful autonomy to Sabah and Sarawak, viz: Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib should cancel the Sept. 16 programme in Kota Kinabalu for signing of commemorative Malaysia Day document with Sabah and Sarawak Chief Ministers and have it either one day earlier or later so as not to be overshadowed by the Red Shirts pro-Najib rally in Kuala Lumpur

When the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak endorsed the greenlight given by the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi for the Red Shirts “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” rally in Kuala Lumpur on Sept. 16, it marked not only a great failure of Najib’s premiership, but a pathetic admission of the failure of his signature 1Malaysia policy when he became the sixth Prime Minister some six years ago to create a united nation where every citizen will regard himself or herself as Malaysian first and race, religion, region and socio-economic status second.

Six years after Najib’s 1Malaysia Policy, the country should be having “Kebangkitan Maruah Malaysia” rallies and not regressing to hold “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” rallies – which is the very antithesis of Najib’s 1Malaysia policy.

Is Najib suggesting that there should also be “Kebangkitan Maruah Cina Malaysia”, “Kebangkitan Maruah India Malaysia”, “Kebangkitan Maruah Orang Asli”, “Kebangkitan Maruah Iban” or “Kebangkitan Maruah Kadazan-Dusun-Murut” rallies all over the country?

Najib and the Cabinet should be asking Zahid why the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister is practicing double standards in warning of “stern action” against organisers and participants of Bersih 4 rally but gave the okay for UMNO members to attend the Red Shirts rally?

Why did Zahid personally sign a ban of the yellow Bersih 4 T-shirt on the eve of Bersih 4 rally, but endorsed the sale of red “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” T-shirts? Read the rest of this entry »

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The Sarawak Bersih 4 fiasco

Dr Kelvin Yii
Malaysiakini
1st September 2015

The Bersih 4 rally has been catching headlines for the past few days with the crowd in KL swelling to a record number reportedly at 500,000 over the weekend, an unprecedented amount of people willing to stretch it out for 34 hours and sleep on the streets to protest against the corrupt regime as well demand for clean and fair elections, among others.

This commands great pride for me and many other Malaysians who are sick and tired of how corruption and bad governance has wrecked our country. I as a Sarawakian have seen and experienced how corruption and money politics have ravaged our state, and oppressed our people.

The urging for Bersih wasn’t a foreign agenda, neither was it a Malayan concept. We in Sarawak need it more than ever, to stand up against corruption, electoral fraud and bad governance that has left Sarawak as one of the least developed state even though we blessed with the abundance of natural resources.

So I was really devastated reading the news on how Sarawak Bersih 4 turned out and was instead used as a platform to attack the different opposition parties. The organisers have since retracted the statement allegedly blaming Sarawak DAP for the premature end of the rally, and claimed they was misquoted, however this did not stop it from being circulated on social media and blogs, and leaving a bad taste in our mouth. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s Stunning Street Art: The Coolest Murals and Where to Find Them

Yahoo Travel Explorers
August 10, 2015
By David Hogan/Malaysia Asia

In recent years, street art in Malaysia has picked up quite a bit, and you’ll now find murals and paintings by both local and international artists.

While this form of art has been alive and well in many other areas of the world for decades, the movement in Malaysia really got rolling in 2012, when Ernest Zacharevic created six murals for Penang’s George Town Culture festival. The paintings were so popular that the BBC even called him the Banksy of Malaysia. Today, there are many cities around the country following in Penang’s footsteps, calling on locals of all ages to add new life to their walls. For visitors, that means it’s easy to find these open-air museums; since they are usually located in high tourist areas, you barely have to look around. But you do need to know which towns and cities to start in. Here are some of my favorites:

Penang

Penang artist Ernest Zacharevic has been called the Banksy of Malaysia. (Photo: Ernest Zacharevic)

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Whether the 11th Sarawak state general election will be the third time Sarawakians spearhead Malaysian political changes as happened in the 2006 and 2011 state polls?

Whether the 11th Sarawak state general election will be the third time Sarawakians spearhead Malaysian political changes as happened in the 2006 and 2011 state polls?

The question I want to pose tonight is whether the 11th Sarawak state general election, whether held this year or next, will be the third time Sarawakians spearhead political changes in Malaysia.

In the ninth Sarawak state general election in 2006, DAP made history in Sarawak winning from one to six state assembly seats, spearheading the “308 political tsunami” of the 2008 Malaysian general election where the Umno/BN coalition was ousted from power as the government in five States and lost for the first time its two-thirds parliamentary majority.

The 2011 Sarawak State General Election made further history when Pakatan Rakyat won 15 State Assembly seats, with DAP winning 12 and PKR three. The major electoral shifts in the 2011 Sarawak state general election spearheaded the “Ubah” political awakening in the 13th Federal general elections, where Datuk Seri Najib Razak became the first minority Prime Minister in the nation’s history and still without two-thirds parliamentary majority – as UMNO/BN won 48% of electoral support although he won the majority of the 222 parliamentary seats because undemocratic constituency redelineations.

What is in store for the 11th Sarawak state general election which must be held by next August? Read the rest of this entry »

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Scrap the 1MDB roadshows as they will end up as disastrously as the “Nothing2Hide” 1MDB Forum

One of the most accident-prone government front-benchers, the Deputy Finance Minister, Datuk Ahmad Maslan announced yesterday that nation-wide roadshows to explain the 1MDB scandal and other government controversies will be launched at the state levels during the second week of Syawal.

I would advise the Federal government to scrap the 1MDB nation-wide roadshows as they will end up as disastrously as the “Nothing2Hide” 1MDB Forum at the Putra World Trade Centre in KL on June 5 where the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak ignominiously backed out of appearance because of Mahathir’s presence, unless Najib could immediately explain whether 1MDB funds had been misused for the UMNO/BN campaign in the 13th General Election, and are now being spent and misused in Sarawak for the forthcoming Sarawak state polls.

Najib’s thunderous silence on the third day of the Wall Street Journal expose on Friday that the 1MDB funds running into billions of ringgit had been used to bankroll his 13th General Election campaign does not brook well that the Prime Minister’s credibility can recover with any “Public Relations” gimmicry like 1MDB nation-wide roadshows.

Why is Najib incapable of giving a detailed and convincing rebuttal to the Wall Street Journal allegation that one “trick” of using 1MDB billions of ringgit to bankroll Najib’s 13GE election campaign was through the artifice of 1MDB making overpriced purchase of power assets from Genting Group in 2012 – paying RM2.3 billion or around five times for a power plant that was only worth RM400 million, with Genting make a subsequent donation to a foundation controlled by Najib for the 13GE campaigning purposes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sarawak and Sabah should have one-third of the parliamentary seats which is not only be in the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 but a crucial safeguard to preserve and protect the fundamental principle of the constitution of Malaysia as a secular nation with Islam as the official religion

Malaysia wants to become a developed nation in five years time in 2020.

In the developed nations in Europe, the rural areas would enjoy basic infrastructures and amenities like piped water, electricity supply, as well as the most elementary educational, economic and health facilities which are non-existent for rural areas in Malaysia, particularly in Sarawak and Sabah.

I can still remember that more than half a century ago in the early sixties, there would be delegation after delegation of Sarawakians and Sabahans visiting Peninsular Malaysia because the Prime Minister at the time, Tunku Abdul Rahman, his deputy Tun Razak and other Ministers in the Cabinet in Kuala Lumpur wanted to convince Sarawak and Sabah leaders the advantages of the formation of Malaysia, promising that Sarawak and Sabah would be as advanced and developed as Malaya if Sabah and agreed to the formation of the new federation of Malaysia together with Malaya and Singapore.

Malaysia is now 52 years old since its formation in 1963, and the promises half a century ago that Sarawak and Sabah would be as developed as Peninsular Malaysia have still to be met, or tens of thousands of Ibans would not have to leave Sarawak to seek greener pastures in Johor Baru – which is why we are having a Gawai celebration in Johor Baru tonight. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib Government is even more shambolic than the Abdullah Government, not only the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, but Cabinet Ministers and DPM in the dark as to what the PM is doing

The Najib Government is even more shambolic than its predecessor, the Abdullah Government, not only the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, but Cabinet Ministers and the DPM in the dark as to what the PM is doing.

It has resulted in the Sabah Speaker and Sabah UMNO Deputy Liaison Chief , Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak virtually demanding for the resignation of the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and three Cabinet Ministers, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and Khairy Jamaluddin for “trying to save their own necks” on the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal and the latest 1MDB-LTH bailout fiasco by breaching the principle of collective Ministerial responsibility, “making statements as if they are outsiders and not part of the Cabinet”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Adenan must prove himself on intentions

by Joe Fernandez
CPI
08 May 2015

Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem in London on Tuesday and the day after, continuing his style since taking over from his predecessor and ex-brother-in-law Taib Mahmud, continues to say all the right things. They continue to be music to the ears of the environmentalists, other activists, the Orang Asal and even the Opposition.

In fact, he has even taken the wind out of the sails of the Opposition, being in the forefront with them, indeed away from the stand taken for so long by his ruling Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB).

In giving the benefit of the doubt to Adenan, although he’s a product of the very party and system under attack, we can best say that he may have realised belatedly that it cannot be business as usual in Sarawak for his administration. However, recognizing the need for change and being committed to that change are two different things.

We know all the usual cliches about actions speaking louder than words and the proof of the pudding being in the eating. Read the rest of this entry »

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As Najib shores up leadership amid criticism, tiny Gedong may play a big role

Bloombert/MMO
April 15, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — The oil palm-growing district of Gedong in the eastern Malaysian state of Sarawak is too tiny to get its own zip code. Even so, its 6,712 voters will soon have their own government representative.

Electoral officials are adding 11 seats to the Sarawak legislative assembly by carving out new constituencies ahead of a state election due by next year—wards that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will want to go to his ruling coalition. The Sarawak vote is a test for Najib as he seeks to shore up his leadership amid criticism of his economic and social policies and public demands by a former leader that he step down.

Najib’s efforts to retain support in the resource-rich state has seen his government build more municipal facilities from hospitals to water treatment plants. His Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition is banking on the states of Sarawak and Sabah on Borneo island — its traditional strongholds — to keep it in power as Chinese voters on Peninsular Malaysia defect.

“BN not doing so well in Sarawak will weaken Najib within the coalition and add to criticisms against him,” said Wan Saiful Wan Jan, head of the Kuala Lumpur-based Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs. “A strong win will give him a reprieve from all the unhappiness on imposing a goods and services tax this year and concerns about growing debt of government entities.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia facing not only crisis of identity but crisis of survival for first time since formation of federation in 1963

Malaysia is facing not only a crisis of identity but a crisis of survival for the first time since the formation of the Malaysian federation in 1963.

The month of April has not been a good month for Malaysia, starting with the GST implementation on April 1, which has caused hardships all-round to Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region; followed by a week of infamy when Parliament “stopped the clock” twice in four days to rush through the passage of the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Sedition Amendment Act, both of which attracted universal international condemnation for Malaysia becoming the human rights “black hole” as well as opening the Pandora’s Box of undemocratic, arbitrary and repressive powers and laws.

But looming in the background, there was an even bigger crisis – the crisis of survival for Malaysia as it is intimately concerned with the question as to whether the Malaysian federation, as conceived by the Malaysia Agreement 1963, could survive and flourish or whether it would perish and fail. Read the rest of this entry »

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