Archive for the 'Politics & government' Category

The Rohingyas in Kuala Lumpur had a small public protest at Ampang Park today. The Rohingyas were protesting against the latest rounds of atrocity committed against their community in Myamnar. The Malaysian police broke up the demonstration and arrested quite a number of the participants.[1] The police should release them. It is disheartening to see […]

It’s a big, big interconnected world out there. And that interconnectedness, ironically, makes the world smaller is a non-physical sense. Economically, socially and politically. Our lives are no longer affected purely by domestic matters. To some, the foreign affairs segment in the newspapers is an abstraction but for some others, the lines demarcating domestic and […]

Terence Gomez is embarking on a massive project investigating quantitatively the influence of government-linked companies in the Malaysian economy. The dominance of government in business and in the economy is no mystery. What is special here is that he is analyzing the numbers more comprehensively than many had done before. He is currently focusing his research at […]

I love this kind of contrast. Within Southeast Asia, it is at its starkest in Vietnam. I have been to Laos with its own nominally communist government. The hammer and the sickle would adorn lamp posts and facades in Vientianne and Luang Prabang, reminding tourists and locals alike the insecurity of those in power. But […]

Several hundred people gathered at Dataran Merdeka on Monday night demanding the release of Maria Chin. On Tuesday, the number grew to possibly more than a thousand. It is a good turnout I think. I hope the crowd size will double tomorrow.

The crowd shouted “Reformasi!” last night as they gathered on the edge of Dataran Merdeka to demand the release of Maria Chin. About 20 years ago, the term was so full of anti-Mahathir context. “Not today however,” History said, smirking as she played a joke on all of us. Having the crowd crying out reformasi on Monday evening made the atmosphere […]

This edition of Bersih, felt less carnival-like unlike last year. Nevertheless, Bangsar still had the fun crowd, with all the banners and masks and flags and songs. I love the fight songs. But well, the protest is not about having fun. It is about exercising political rights. And it is never really courageous to take […]

New York has the Empire State Building. Think of Paris and the Eiffel Tower comes to mind. Cairo is inseparable from the Pyramids. Singapore has the smaller but not less iconic Merlion. George Town has the Penang Bridge, if you take a liberal view of the city’s boundary and ignore the unpleasant monolith towering over […]

It is September 15, the eve of Malaysia Day. As I walk out of the train station into the atrium of KL Sentral, I see rows of the Malaysian flags draping down from the ceiling. Those red and white stripes are unmistakable. The flag-flying fervor has not been as strong as it had been in […]

I was in Sarawak during the 2011 election. I campaigned for the opposition in Kuching and its surrounding. I helped run a group of volunteers; run is probably an exaggeration but I will use run nonetheless. We were active in several seats but spent most of our time in Batu Kawa, about 10 miles to the […]

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