Archive for February, 2008

‘Islam Hadari’ Cannot Correct Itself

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

It would seem rather odd, not least for Malaysia-watchers overseas, that despite the talk of the ‘moderate and progressive’ brand of normative Islam that has been bandied about in Malaysia under the general theme of ‘Islam Hadari’ (Civilisational Islam) that the practice of normative Islam in Malaysia seems anything but moderate and progressive. Among the [...]

PAS’s New Realist Politics?

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

 (NOTE: This commentary first appeared on Malaysia Votes)

THAT the leadership of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) has now come out to endorse the People’s Declaration (see The_Peoples_Declaration)
– an initiative by Malaysia’s civil society calling for the
reaffirmation of the people’s fundamental political rights – is
indicative of the success of the behind-the-scenes lobbying [...]

A call to ‘Arms’ - My fervent wish for the Hindu community

Monday, February 25th, 2008

For Malaysian Indians and especially the Tamils, the politically charged, paradoxical events of the past few months must seem almost surreal. Two brothers at odds, one allegedly, and irrevocably mired in corruption at the very heart of judiciary and the government, the other driven to despairing ‘madness’ and ultimate denouncement of his sibling.  It epitomizes [...]

The Threat to Secular Democracy In Malaysia

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

(NOTE: This commentary first appeared on Malaysia Votes )

As far as complex plural societies go, Malaysia has to be one of the most complex and plural societies in the world at the moment. There are few countries with a racial, ethnic, linguistic and religious mix like Malaysia’s and I have to confess [...]

Malaysia: Still Looking for an Islam to call Our Own?

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

(NOTE: This commentary first appeared on Malaysia Votes )

The historian’s lot is a sad one in Malaysia. I say this as a historian who has been forced to witness the relentless murder of our history, enacted time and again, by those whose discomfort with the past informs their definition of comfort in the present. [...]

How to Stop Cars and Win Enemies

Monday, February 18th, 2008

When it comes to dealing with the grouses of the Malaysian public – many of which happen to be legitimate, mind you – it would seem that the benighted leaders of our blessed country have read every single page of the stupid book.

We recall the period when we, the Malaysian public were told by our [...]

Hindraf and the Pluralisation of the Malaysian-Indian Community

Friday, February 15th, 2008

Since it came to the public stage of Malaysian politics the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) of Malaysia has been cast as a troubling phenomenon, but to whom? Predictably the reaction of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) and its leadership has been to respond to Hindraf’s demands by stating that it is a troublesome organisation [...]

Malaysia’s Coming Elections: Between Change and Inertia

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

And so, with the dissolution of the Malaysian Parliament on Wednesday, Malaysia is heading to the elections once again. The precise date of the 12th General Elections of Malaysia is yet to be known, but it is clear that this will be one of the more hotly contested elections that Malaysia has witnessed.

Over the past [...]

From Days of Old

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

From days of old, so the stories are told,
This, our land, was called Malai{mountains} Ur{Land}.
The Land of The Mountains was Malaya called from the ancient times.
As the sailors traveled & sailed towards
The Isthmus of Kra , past Kedah, Lankgkawi, Pulau Pinang
And on to Sumatra, Tumasik & Java,
Malai Ur represented the Mystical land of [...]

This is our country

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

Despite living thousands of miles apart, and the racial and ethnic differences, the two authors of this article share the same experience of being an ethnic minority.

Wan Saiful Wan Jan is a Malay Muslim who has been living in Britain as an ethnic minority since 1993. As a Muslim, he feels the need to contribute [...]