Archive for August 9th, 2010

The Distracting Bilateral Issue of Maids

By M. Bakri Musa

It is telling of the state of development for both Indonesia and Malaysia that when their two leaders met recently, the key topic was Indonesian maids. Malaysia wishes to import more while Indonesia wants better working conditions for its workers in Malaysia.

I would have expected the two to discuss such consequential issues as jointly developing the region as a tourism destination to rival the Caribbean, harnessing the power of satellite and wireless communication to leapfrog the development of both countries, or perhaps conducting joint maritime research for both ecological and economic purposes. Alas, none of that!

It is reflective of the abysmal state of human development in Indonesia that maids are its major “export.” Likewise, it reflects the perverted status symbol of Malaysians that they consider having a maid as a necessity for a “luxurious” lifestyle.
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The speech that wasn’t delivered

Friday, 06 August 2010 21:05

(P Ramakrishnan was supposed to deliver this address at an anti-ISA vigil in Penang on 1 August 2010, but before he could speak, four activists were arrested and police dispersed the crowd.)

50 years of ISA – Enough is enough!

This is our 53rd year of independence. But for 50 years, that independence has been marred and rendered meaningless by the continued existence of the ISA. It has been used and abused to silence critics and put away dissidents. It is an instrument that threatens our freedom and our civil liberties. It creates a climate of fear.
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