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.
LAWYER-turned-politician Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim, 60, knows that politics can be a dirty game. He joined Umno and won the Kota Baru parliamentary seat in the 2004 general election. The party did not field him for the 2008 elections, however. After winning with a severely reduced majority, the ruling coalition under Prime Minister Tun Abdullah […]
MUCH has been said about how undemocratic the Peaceful Assembly Bill is. I beg to differ. On the contrary, three very good aspects of the Peaceful Assembly Bill have been missed by commentators. Here they are: More religious The Bill promotes a religious society. We all know how important religion is to ensure that we […]
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 […]
TAN Sri Rafidah Aziz, 68, has been a towering figure in Malaysian politics for the past three decades. Born in Selama, Perak, in 1943, she became at age 30 Member of Parliament for Kuala Kangsar, and remains the incumbent. In 1987, she was appointed international trade and industry minister. Her political career has not been […]
HUDUD. One is either for or against its implementation in Malaysia – or so the prevailing political discourse goes. But what are we missing in between? Have proponents of hudud adequately justified their position, and how they would apply the Islamic penal code in today’s society? Can those who oppose it ever imagine a human […]
IF we were to believe everything the politicians are saying about hudud, we would come to three conclusions. One, that implementing the punishments prescribed under hudud is divine law that no Muslim can question, and hence is inevitable. Two, that hudud cannot be implemented in Malaysia because of the Federal Constitution and our multi-cultural composition. […]
Waging war against the king. In cahoots with foreign conspirators. Possible communists. Planning to overthrow the government. Illegal T-shirts. Bersih 2.0 seems to embody many evils to the authorities, who have arrested more than 100 in attempts to stop Bersih’s 9 July 2011 march. But have the authorities gone overboard in demonising the rally? What about Malaysians’ constitutional right to freedom of expression and right to peaceable assembly?
WHEN Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi declared that the new media was negatively spinning issues about the government, perhaps he was referring to examples such as this YouTube video by nasilemak2020. I’m certain the Umno vice-president, who is also defence minister, also had other examples in mind when he called on Umno cybertroopers to […]
*Corrected on 31 May 2011, 10.30am: This was earlier published as “partly free”. THE Barisan Nasional (BN) government is hardly an exemplary proponent of press freedom. Its wide ownership and control of much of the Malaysian press probably contributed to Malaysia’s “not free”* rating in a recent survey by Freedom House, a global press watchdog. […]