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 […]

There was a time capitalism and communism battled each other. I am of course simplifying the conflict by a whole lot but that was how most of the world saw it then and even now. I was at the Tate Modern in London recently. Inside the museum, there is a room filled with communist propaganda […]

Some good dozens of issues are holding Malaysia back. Several big ones are legacies originating from days long gone. While we can never truly escape history, I feel it is dragging us down too much. So heavy is the baggage that sometimes, I feel the best way to move forward is to forget. I write this […]

Cambodia has a dark modern history and I always knew that. That knowledge did not bother me much previously because I did not really relate to it. Cambodia despite being so close to Malaysia appeared farther away from me than, for example, the United States where I spent my undergraduate years. Cambodia was some land […]

Between 1975 and 1979, Cambodia came under the communist Khmer Rouge regime. The communist rule exerted considerable cost on the Cambodian society. Just how significant? Never forget. Data was obtained from the World Bank.

I have always known about the atrocity of the Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia but before I traveled to Cambodia, that knowledge was superficial. I only began to learn more about the conflict when I found myself in Cambodia for two weeks recently. Being there almost made the knowledge into an emotional […]

On my way to Sydney Airport, I found myself sitting right beside a cab driver — who was probably close to 50 years of age — eager to convince me that he was an honest driver. “Pick any way you want, I go”, he said in outrageously fast but broken English. “I have map. You […]

The day I had a lunch appointment with a friend at the central business district in Sydney was one of those pleasant summer days. With blue sky and time aplenty, I walked the distance, which was about a mile or two from my home. As I approached the restaurant, my cell phone beeped. It was […]

Here is to liberty. Forgive, but never forget the tyranny of communism and socialism.

Members of the older generations generally adopt a paternalistic attitude towards the younger generations when discussing the history of this country. It is true that not all of them assume that attitude but come Aug 31 and without fail, there is no escape from hearing the same old lament, especially in the media. Not to […]

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