Blog Archives

There is speculation that there will be a general election in the near future. Political parties across the board are shifting gears, as if they needed to after all the by-elections. I had a conversation with a friend several months back about the general election. Being away from Malaysia, I caught up with him, among […]

The tussle for control of water distribution in Selangor attracts strong opinions and allegations. The Pakatan Rakyat Selangor state government and its supporters claim that Syabas, the sole water distributor in Selangor, is being mismanaged. Some of the more vocal supporters of Pakatan Rakyat and the state government claim that Syabas is a case of incompetence […]

There is talk of a third force in Malaysia. Lawyer and activist Haris Ibrahim has stated that the third force is a bunch of independents ready to co-operate with Pakatan Rakyat. Zaid Ibrahim wants to form a third political party. If in the end, it comes to a third competitive and national political grouping capable […]

Opinions abound and they are bound to hit some sensitive nerve. When it hits, there goes another police report. There goes another demand for an ISA arrest. The right-wing group Perkasa has been at it for some time now, calling for the arrest of various individuals for challenging what the group considers as Malay rights. […]

There is mutual frustration between those in government and those who identify themselves as ordinary citizens in Malaysia. The frustration originates from the incapability of both to understand the other side’s challenges. This makes the gears of a huge machine — the government — stuck. It needs to work again. The period immediately after the […]

There will be a big parliamentary by-election today in Hulu Selangor. By-elections have always been big in Malaysia but the fact that Pakatan Rakyat is fielding a giant makes this edition important by its own right. Zaid Ibrahim is not an obscure name. Important or not, I do not feel the excitement of by-elections anymore. […]

Malaysia requires multiple reforms. Development in recent years proves that moving away from the status quo is incredibly hard, however. This is due to opposition mounted by beneficiaries of the current system, as well as beneficiaries of circumstances. As the Najib administration puts in effort to address criticism directed against the flawed affirmative action, it […]

How many times have we heard the statement that if so and so did not exist, certain problems would go away? Specifically, one side would blame UMNO and Barisan Nasional for racial and religious problems in Malaysia, while the other would blame PKR and its allies for the instability in the country. The truth is […]

Liberalization is on the move. Yet, the move hardly deserves to be called a liberalization effort. Notwithstanding how truly free the local economy is, the federal government led by Barisan Nasional is finally addressing the shortcomings of affirmative action as practiced in the country. The past few weeks have seen the kind of market liberalization […]

The ugly episode in Perak raises several issues revolving around the idea of separation of powers. One of the least discussed powers separation matters is closely related to the concept of federalism. The fiasco clearly highlights that the state civil service is practically dependent on the federal civil service. This dependency is abhorrent to the […]

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