It’s been 49 years since Malaysia became a nation, when Tunku Abdul Rahman said that 10 million people of many races now join hands in freedom and unity. But even back then, the vision of what was to become Malaysia was contested. What remains of the vision of Malaysia today? And how do we celebrate Malaysia Day as Malaysians?
IF only voting were easy. For one thing, I’m still waiting for the Election Commission (EC) secretariat to tell me why my absent voter application was rejected. If the EC eventually approves my application — or if the elections coincide with my summer research at home — and if intra-party seat allocations don’t change, I’ll […]
NEW year, new you? Not if you’re national identity in Malaysia, it would seem. We ended last year with disputes over Article 153 provisions for bumiputera special privileges and began this one with discussions of a Race Relations Bill, hurtfully racialised statements, ethnocentric election strategising and accusations of religious subversion. Said Zahari’s 1969 poem comes […]
LEGENDARY Malaysian dancer Ramli Ibrahim, 58, has been captivating audiences with his performances and choreography of Indian classical dance for almost three decades. After returning from Australia, Ramli founded Sutra Dance Theatre in 1983. He has gone on to perform and win awards both locally and overseas, and has also groomed many a talented dancer. […]
FOR six years up to the year 2000, Ann Lee was beamed into Malaysian households three times a week as an RTM co-anchor for the 8pm news on TV2. She was also a newsreader on RTM’s Radio Four, making her a recognisable face and voice over the Malaysian airwaves. “People sometimes still come up to […]
(Corrected at 1:20pm, 7 June 2011) THE vocal and articulate Lim Kit Siang many of us know in Parliament, through his blog and from news reports, is reticent when it comes to talking about himself. The veteran politician is slow to reveal what makes him tick or where he draws his ideals and inspirations from. […]
THE normative story of Malaysia goes something like this: in 1961, the newly independent Federation of Malaya’s Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, suggested the formation of a wider federation. This would consist of Malaya, Singapore, Brunei, Sarawak and Sabah. Malayans and Singaporeans agreed, but Sabahans and Sarawakians were not wholly convinced. Neighbouring Philippines objected, asserting […]
ARE you Malay first? Or Malaysian first? But is the question really about which should come first? Why does it seem to matter so much? And which of the two labels — one about race and the other about citizenship — is more profoundly important to us as Malaysian citizens?
Removing the “Islam” label on a MyKAD is not that easy PETALING JAYA, 15 Dec 2009: Despite cabinet announcements about conversions to Islam and proposed legal amendments to allow a Muslim convert to divorce in the civil court, other scenarios arising from conversions are not being addressed. As a result, numerous conversion cases are not […]
WITH reference to news reports on Malaysian transsexual Fatine‘s potential deportation from the United Kingdom, we wish to register our grave concerns at statements by Immigration Department director-general Abdul Rahman Othman and at how the story was reported. We question why Abdul Rahman singled out Ms Fatine as having “brought great shame upon us”, allegedly […]