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?
Uncommon Sense with Wong Chin Huat: Merdeka and the rise of citizensBy Ding Jo-Ann
MALAYSIANS are no longer content to watch the official government-organised Merdeka parade on their televisions. Instead, they have been taking to the streets to celebrate Merdeka in their own way. What’s behind these different celebrations and do they make Malaysians unpatriotic?
Ramon Navaratnam: “Malaysia first”By Jacqueline Ann Surin
AT 77, there are many things Tan Sri Ramon V Navaratnam is thankful for. Topmost is the fact that all three of his sons and their families, including his four grandchildren, remain in Malaysia. “Thank God! I think there are not many left of my age [whose] children are all here. I think I did […]
“We were not an ordinary country”By Deborah Loh
HAD history not intervened, Emeritus Prof Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim might have been a footballer. Of his youth, Khoo said he would have been content getting a simple job as long as he could have gone on playing soccer competitively even though there was no money in the sport back in the 1950s. […]
Uncommon Sense with Wong Chin Huat: Reimagining MalaysiaBy Ding Jo-Ann
UNTIL recently, Malaysia had been celebrating independence with parades and banners proclaiming the number of years that have passed since 1957. This inaccuracy has been brought to light over the past few years as more people begin to understand the significance of 16 Sept 1963, when Malaysia was formed. People and politicians alike have now […]
J Anu: “Nowhere else to go”By Jacqueline Ann Surin
ANURENDERA Jegadeva, or better known as J Anu, is not just an artist. Whether he admits it or not, he is also a political observer and commentator. His art, which plays with, among others, “ideas of empire”, identity and belonging, are often satirical commentaries about Malaysian life and the life of the Malaysian. “I learnt […]
Remembering colonialismBy Jacqueline Ann Surin
KUALA LUMPUR, 13 June 2011: The Malay peninsula was colonised exactly 500 years ago this year, and its significance in our history should be marked in some way by universities and scholars, lawyer Tommy Thomas said. “We should be having public seminars and academic conferences to remember and discuss this aspect of our history on […]
Not race, not religion: What matters in a person?By Nick Choo
DATUK Faridah Merican has been in the arts scene for more than 50 years and is considered a pioneer of the Malaysian theatre industry. With her husband, director Joe Hasham, the “first lady of the stage” co-founded The Actors Studio in 1989. She and Joe also head the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac), which […]
Siapa Melayu?Shape of a Pocket by Jacqueline Ann Surin
IF it is true that Malay-rights group Perkasa was able to sabotage the government’s New Economic Model, hence obstructing much-needed reforms for the nation, what is this telling us? It tells us that if the Barisan Nasional (BN) government is so easily held ransom by right-wing race-based groups, it is not fit to govern multiracial […]
History a pass subject, but whose version?By Ding Jo-Ann
At Umno’s recent 61st general assembly, the prime minister advised the nation to stop questioning Malaysia’s “social contract”. This was swiftly followed a clearly political decision requiring SPM takers to pass History from 2013. But whose version of history will this be?