Category Archives: Civil society

Selangor report on Local Government Elections

Both the Selangor and Penang PR state governments have commissioned studies on the revival of local governments, resulting in very different reports.

The Penang report holds that the power is in the hand of the federal government and the state can do nothing.

The Selangor report, commissioned to the Coalition of Good Governance (CGG) and submitted in July, listed three solutions to reintroduce local elections, two of which do not require federal consent.

While the report has been made public soon after its submission to the state government, it was widely reported in the media and few have read it. Feel free to share this pdf copy with your friend. LCE paper_final_23Dec2009


What if A GOOD government uses a BAD law on BAD people?

My article at “Why Malaysia needs the ISA” has evoked many responses, including those passionate ones at Malaysia Today.

I questioned whether Malaysians truly oppose ISA, whether how many would defend Ahmad Ismail and condemn ISA if he alone was arrested under ISA.

Two of such responses are particularly illuminating:

***”written by Jan, December 10, 2008 16:15:57

If Ahmad Ismail alone was arrested I am sure most Malaysians would not protest against the ISA. Unfortunately between Ahmad and Tan Hoon Cheng they arrested Tan instead of the perpetrator. This goes to show the authorities are abusing their powers by using the ISA to clamp down on dissent.
This is further confirmed when they arrested Teresa Kok instead of that botox guy who’s spreading all the lies. What more proof do you need that this govt is abusing the ISA?

disagree 0; agree 4

***written by Jan, December 10, 2008 16:26:56
Just look at Tan Hoon Cheng the reporter. If she stood beside Ahmad guess who’s more likely to cause racial tension? Yet they arrested Tan and went on record to tell the rakyat they wanted to protect Tan. The Home Minister must think the Malayisan people are all dungus.

disagree 0; agree 3

They provide a very straightforward reason to oppose ISA: A BAD government is using a BAD law against GOOD people.

Now, what do you do if instead a GOOD government has used the BAD law against BAD people? Should we still oppose ISA?

Malaysia Turns Adult in the Festival of Lights: The 21st Anniversary of Operasi Lalang

Malaysia Turns Adult in the Festival of Lights: The 21st Anniversary of Operasi Lalang

Writer Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI) wishes all Malaysians a happy Deepavali which shall soon usher in a new era of light over darkness. This year’s Deepavali is especially meaningful for all Malaysians, and not only the Hindu faithful, as it is also the 21st Anniversary of Operasi Lalang, the darkest moment in the Malaysian history for a generation.

In 1987, 106 socio-political activists – of all ethnic and convictional backgrounds – were detained without detention under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) while three newspapers were suspended under the authoritarian Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA). All these were done in the name of preserving national security and inter-ethnic harmony.

Same Law, Different Reactions

While the law is still intact two decades later and has produced new prisoners of conscience such as Raja Petra Kamaruddin, the Hindraf 5 and other political dissidents, Malaysians now have completely different reactions to such political crack-down.

Rather than engulfed by a climate of fear, Malaysians of all ethnic, religious and political backgrounds are now calling for the abolition of the ISA and the release of all prisoners of consciences.

This shows that Malaysians have come out age as a nation and a people. If we were a baby easily intimidated and traumatized 21 years ago, this Deepavali marks the attainment of our political adulthood. The outcries against ISA and other draconian laws have never been louder.

The public now squarely reject the flawed argument that a multicultural country can only choose between different forms of darkness: an authoritarian government and communal conflicts. Instead, we seek the lights endowed in ourselves as humans: rationality, free will, and the wisdom to strive for common goods.

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Civil Society’s Datukship Goes to ……? Next Thursday (Aug 28) KLSCAH

Until sometime ago, Datukship was a joke for many Malaysians – and I believe still is for many others.

The reason? Mismatch. Many datukships go to those who don’t deserve them, and many who deserve them have never been considered.

Things change after March 8. Will the control of five states in the federal opposition’s hand, you now see some datukship at least going to long-serving opposition politicians. And there are now even competition to confer the title on distinguished Malaysians like sport personalities. So Chung Wei will get his from Penang. And Kit Siang from Selangor.

Hei, wait a minute, what about other deserving Malaysians who are not politicians or are not wooed by politicians, let alone going after politicians for good causes?

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