Category Archives: Penang Monthly

  • Time for Malaysians to Show Power

    A question commonly posed to me is what made me decide to choose politics as a vocation. I wonder about it myself sometimes. Although it may not appear to be so, I am in fact naturally an introvert. Of course, I have since learned how to summon on demand the confidence and tenacity required to face […]

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  • A BRAVE NEW WORLD FOR THE TALENTED IS AT HAND

    Technology is the most influential factor in determining how we live, work and communicate. This has especially been the case for the last 300 years, since technological breakthroughs such as the railroad and the electric telegraph spawned a dramatic and continuous transformation in how the world interacts with each other. Today, with the advent of […]

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  • Bangsa Malaysia – A dream worth fighting for

    After over 20 rounds of Transformasi Nasional 2050 (TN50) dialogues held at various locations throughout the country, Khairy Jamaluddin, the Minister of Youth and Sports and de facto TN50 coordinator, found that Malaysian youths desire to be known more as Malaysian rather than through their ethnic identities.1 This post-racial posturing is interesting though not altogether […]

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  • The story of Malaysia through its Constitution

    Much can be told about a country’s character through its laws. Correspondingly, the transformation of a country’s legal regime over time can be said to be a reflection of the socio-political evolution of its society. Take the Constitution of the United States of America. To date, there have been 27 amendments since its promulgation in […]

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  • Politics is in the Blood of the Young

    Something is not right when society’s younger members are not politically active. History shows that to be an anomaly. “Give me 1,000 men and I will move a mountain. Give me 10 young men and I will shake the world.” (Sukarno) Where political involvement is concerned, young people are generally perceived to be outliers – […]

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  • Why Change Has Not Been Possible

    The Malaysian model is now in a cul-de-sac. To break out of it, we need to rethink the nature of political compromises. At times when I contemplate the state of politics in Malaysia, I am reminded of a conversation I had over lunch with a senior diplomat earlier this year. It was just after Chinese […]

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  • Stop BN’s electoral robbery with Bersih 5

    The best show of dissent is a street protest, and there is much to be outraged about by the present re-delineation exercise. The 14th general election looks set to be a litmus test for many political stakeholders in Malaysia, not least of all the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition. Now ignominiously labelled a kleptocrat regime, […]

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  • The Art of Neutering the Malaysian Parliament

    Malaysia inherited the Westminster parliamentary system in 1957. But since then the country’s law-making body has been steadily undermined. The innovation exercised in this process is worth studying by any wannabe dictator. “MPs in Malaysia are often busy performing KBSM duties.” I am fond of repeating this phrase whenever asked to speak on the roles […]

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  • Meaningless to have syariah laws without maqasid syariah

    In the quest for political gain, the higher purpose of Islam – which is the achieving of justice, compassion, wisdom and righteousness – is easily forfeited. It is an unfortunate fact of Malaysian politics that discourse revolving around complex political issues is often reduced to banal statements that are more emotional than rational. In most […]

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  • Malaysia’s Parliament and courts – no longer supreme

    I engaged in polite conversation, as one often does in such situations, with the person seated next to me during a recent regional conference in KL. “So which parliamentary committee are you in?” asked my newfound counterpart, who I had discovered was the head of a state-funded research institute in Vietnam. He was curious about […]

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