Malaysian private economists mostly find themselves in domestic banks. They typically provide macroeconomic outlook and commentaries on the Malaysian economy for the banks and its clients. These economists are mostly interested in business cycles, which is a code word for short term economic fluctuation. After all, most professionals in the finance industry and especially the […]

Though a libertarian and in many ways individualistic in the sense that I am protective of my individual negative rights, I am highly conscious of the fact I live in a society. Even with these rights intact, there has to be a give and take, some kind of mutual and voluntary compromises. The realization that […]

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. […]

Words may contribute to violent behavior. This potential makes various individuals apprehensive of the ideal of freedom and in this case, free speech. They fear the capability of words to subvert peace and stability. For our society to mature however, we must overcome that fear and continue to practice freedom. Out of this fear, some […]

Is it not great to witness the culture of freedom spreading in Malaysia, no matter how painfully slow progress has been so far? To observe individuals debating in the public sphere on issues that none was willing to ponder so openly in the past is an encouraging development for all freedom lovers. It opens up […]

I had trouble writing not too long ago. This is one of few reasons why my column at The Malaysian Insider was published late after Monday in the past few weeks. I constantly found myself writing several paragraphs only to delete it, deciding that I wanted to write something else instead. At first, I figured […]

I do not pretend that the most unlimited use of the freedom of enunciating all possible opinions would put an end to the evils of religous or philosophical sectarianism. Every truth which men of narrow capacity are in earnest about, is sure to be asserted, inculcated, and in many ways even acted on, as if […]

In Malaysia, the slightest possibility of unrest due to free speech is taken by those in power as a ticket to suppress individual rights. In California in 1927, that rationale was rejected by Judge Brandeis of the United States Supreme Court: But it is hardly conceivable that this court would hold constitutional a stature which […]

[1944] Of Cao Ni Ma!

Though old, I cannot get the rhythm out of my mind. Context is of course important: The Grass Mud Horse — Cao Ni Ma — is a Chinese Internet meme widely used as symbolic defiance of the widespread Internet censorship in China. It is one of the 10 mythical creatures, and since an article about […]

Dear Sir, I pray that this letter finds you in good health. With that good health, I do hope you will find in your good self some appetite and some time to read these words of mine. On the last day of UMNO General Assembly held recently, I was in the Merdeka Hall listening to […]

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