Archive | Commentary

My day in court with Azmi Sharom

Posted on 03 September 2014 by Rama Ramanathan

Yesterday, for the first time in about twenty years I was in a courtroom. The last time, I was a defendant. This time the defendant was Professor Azmi Sharom of Universiti Malaya and I was in the gallery. Azmi teaches law. He also writes witty commentaries on local events and…

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Negara-ku: May 13, Masjid Jamek and ministerial multiplication

Posted on 12 July 2014 by Rama Ramanathan

Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan is the person we most associate with Bersih, the Malaysian movement for free and fair elections. On July 10, while introducing Negara-ku (My Nation), she said “Now every time someone says May 13, you can respond with July 10.” Negara-ku’s Chairman is Zaid Kamaruddin, Secretary General of…

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The GE13 People’s Tribunal

Posted on 26 March 2014 by Rama Ramanathan

There was intense disquiet after the 13th General Election in May 2013. There were mass gatherings. There were allegations of unequal access to media; of erasable ink; of wrongful use of government machinery; of vote-buying; of ‘directed’ postal votes and advance votes; of phantom voters; of unauthorized changes to voters’…

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Children’s rights: unsung, shackled servants

Posted on 27 January 2014 by Rama Ramanathan

Last week, at a consultation on children’s rights in Malaysia, a Professor from a local university said our government is implementing plans to ensure that about ten years from now all persons who do social work will be formally qualified. One participant expressed alarm over the Professors comment. Her alarm…

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Meekly defiant

Posted on 27 January 2014 by Administrator

By Stephen Ng While I may want to congratulate Professor Dr Mohamad Tajuddin Mohamad Rasdi for his article, “Turning the other cheek on the ‘Allah’ issue”, the fact is that he is far from the correct interpretation of the phrase, ‘Turn your other cheek’ (Malaysiakini) Dr Tajuddin has at least…

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A ten-point non-solution

Posted on 27 January 2014 by Andrew Khoo

It would be an understatement to say that the pronouncement by the prime minister yesterday that the 10-point solution to the ‘Allah’ issue must be subject to state laws comes as a huge disappointment to those hoping that he would exhibit bold and distinct leadership in this matter. So that…

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Umno’s last bastions: Ideology and subsidy

Posted on 16 January 2014 by Steven Sim

The Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini famously once said of the Iranian Revolution that it is not about the price of watermelon, a popular fruit in Iran. This indicated that the Ayatollah’s politics were aiming at loftier goal, and economic hardship was even to be tolerated to achieve it. On the…

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2013 bitter sweet, 2014 we will survive

Posted on 31 December 2013 by Steven Sim

Like the chocolate I got for christmas, 2013 was bitter sweet. Let me serve the desserts first. I was involved in Penang Institute’s major mission to prepare a 10-year development blueprint for the Penang state government, the Penang Paradigm. I got elected on 5 May this year as a federal…

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Everybody wants to change Malaysia but nobody wants to change himself

Posted on 24 December 2013 by Administrator

Merdeka Center reported on 22nd December 2013 that Prime Minister Najib’s approval rating of 52% is an all-time low compared to the 65% when he launched the New Economic Model (“NEM”). The NEM was a response to Anwar Ibrahim’s New Economic Agenda replacing affirmative action based on race with one…

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Who are the “poor” in Malaysia

Posted on 23 December 2013 by Rama Ramanathan

We live in an age which excels in broadcasting slogans and catchy phrases. Often we, the hearers, unconsciously ‘choose’ the meaning. A good example is “People first.” What does it mean? Who are “the people”? We most easily think of “the people” as ourselves, our “class” of people. We forget…

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Mural mural on the wall

Posted on 16 November 2013 by Thomas Fann

In the same week that Super Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines, a different kind of storm came upon the southern city of Johor Bahru. It was a most innocuous beginning, a series of wall murals by an internationally-recognised Lithuanian-born street artist known as Ernest Zacharevic or simply Zachas. When…

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Appeal Court inept judgment based on internet research

Posted on 15 October 2013 by Ng Kam Weng

The Court of Appeal in Putrajaya on 14/10/2013 over-ruled the earlier decision by Justice Lau Bee Lan in the Kuala Lumpur High Court to allow Christians (Herald) to use the word Allah. The wide ramifications of the Appeal Court decision calls for careful analysis to ascertain whether it is based…

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