Europe was uncontested center of the world during the periods leading up to the 20th century. It was the fountainhead of human civilization. Their progress allowed them to become the foremost colonial powers of the world. The British Empire itself was so vast that as the saying goes, the sun never sets on it. European achievements created […]

There are several possible consequences that I fear from the ongoing armed conflict in Sabah. One of them is a public wide urge to expel Sulu and Filipino immigrants out of the state. There is already considerable negative sentiment against the Sulu and Filipino people in Sabah even before the armed men landed to bring […]

As far as I understand it from my experience living in the United States during my undergraduate years, the Christian right, which is a loose socially conservative religious group, believes that there is a social war going on. It is a war on Christmas. The war is really about the secularization of Christmas. It is a […]

I have set a goal for myself. I want to travel more throughout Southeast Asia to learn about the region that I call home. So far, I have been to five Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia.  I have travelled across Cambodia and Indonesia for roughly a month in total last year alone. Part of the reason […]

Wealth inequality does worry a lot of people. Malaysia’s Gini coefficient has been bandied around as a proof that something must be done to address the inequality that we see in the country. ”We are the 99%” is the favorite rhetoric to pound in the message that wealth inequality is a problem. Yet not all […]

In the olden days when four-legged beasts were the best mode of land transportation, gold was money. Everyday transactions involved gold and other precious metals as the medium of exchange then, just as paper money now dominates transactions in the modern economy. Gold had a very special position in human culture then due to its fundamental […]

I was Sarawak for two weeks in early 2011. It was election time and the campaigning period was well underway. From my observation, I think I can conclude that the politics of development is very much alive in Sarawak. It is not hard to understand why. While the standard of living in Kuching, the state capital, […]

The traditional understanding of economic growth has its fair share of criticism.  It has been criticized as being overly materialistic and overly focused on production with disregard for its side effects. Those with esoteric worldviews would accuse such progress as spiritually empty and unfulfilling. While it is true that such understanding of growth does not […]

If one looks at various socioeconomic statistics, it is easy to conclude how far behind Malaysia Cambodia is. Yet superficially, if one landed in Siem Reap in north Cambodia, one would find it hard to differentiate rural Cambodia from rural Malaysia, apart from Khmer writing on the billboards and posters as well as the spoken […]

[2457] A necessary lie

He remembers all too clearly what happened six months ago on the other side of the world as he stands among strangers under a statue of St Michel, waiting for an old dear friend to emerge from the Metro. ”Don’t bite your nails.” ”You’re starting to sound like my mother,” she replied to him sarcastically […]