DATUK Saifuddin Abdullah says he’s a reluctant politician who got into politics because he wanted to affect change. The Umno supreme council member and first-time MP is seen as being a minority voice of reform within his party and wishes his party was more “progressive”. In this interview, Saifuddin traces his family lineage and student activism, explains the dynamics within Umno, and wishes there was more space at the Malaysian table for space and ideas.
I WOULDN’T normally consider myself an outlaw. Last month, for example, I submitted another deferment request for the six-year-old National Service summons that I have yet to fulfil because of school calendars. I also don’t buy pirated DVDs. But recently I have found myself among the many in a position where democratic citizenship conflicts with […]
Open-ended vs. close-ended democracy?
IF there is one word that best explains and describes the virulent reaction towards Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, that word, for me, would be fear. That’s right. Fear. In fact, it would seem from the continuing attacks against the Bersih 2.0 chairperson that this fear is such that she should be detained without trial under the […]
IT is perhaps destiny that Maria Chin Abdullah ended up being one of the steering committee members for Bersih 2.0, the civil society movement calling for free and fair elections in Malaysia. One of her earliest memories is of independent Malaya’s first general election in 1959 when she was just three. Maria remembers being with […]
IN the days before and after the Bersih 2.0 rally for electoral reform, Malaysian social networks were buzzing like never before. Internet chatter was centred around the biggest campaign in town: the street march in the heart of Kuala Lumpur on 9 July 2011. Thanks to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, users had a platform to […]
2011 is going by in a flash, and yet it has felt long and intense. The political temperature has been kept on the high side, first with the Sarawak elections, then the Bersih 2.0 rally, endless speculation about the next general election, and most recently, inter-religious tensions involving allegations against Christians. Malaysians certainly have had […]
POST-Bersih 2.0 rally, what has Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak been saying to defend the government’s actions of repressing dissent? It would seem that since the 9 July 2011 rally and after arresting more than 1,900 people, including detaining without trial six Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) members, Najib’s responses have been disingenuous, narrow-minded, and […]
PRIOR to 25 June 2011, all seemed to be going relatively well for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration. The Barisan Nasional (BN) government was hard at work improving public perception, with extensive media coverage on government programmes such as the Government Transformation Programme and Economic Transformation Programme. There were talks of a possible […]
IN light of the recent Bersih 2.0 demonstrations, and the unjustified crackdown by the authorities, one may be forgiven if one were to be carried away in denouncing the current administration. They handled the demonstrations in an appalling manner, both in the run-up to the actual day and on the day itself. The conduct of […]