Archive for April, 2009

MINDRAF: Does Malaysia Need Another Sectarian Political Party?

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

As if the political landscape of Malaysia wasn’t overcrowded already, there has come into the fray yet another sectarian community-based party, Mindraf (Malaysian Indian Democratic Action Front). Ostensibly set up by ‘good samaritans’ concerned about the plight of their community, Mindraf has announced its political ambitions with the aim of representing Malaysian citizens of South [...]

Islamists lose in Indonesian polls

Monday, April 20th, 2009

(Note: This article first appeared in the most excellent site, The Nut Graph)
NOW that the dust has settled, Indonesians are counting the cost of the latest elections in the country. With voter turnout rather low – hovering around 40% in some regions – the parties that were sidelined have already begun to complain and bicker [...]

Indonesian Elections: Dreaming of Gajah Mada in a Modern Democracy

Monday, April 20th, 2009

While doing fieldwork on the island of Madura last week, I stopped for a while to do one of those necessary things we all need to do sooner or later: get a haircut. My colleague and fellow academic Toharudin and I stopped by a small, somewhat forlorn barber’s shop in Sumenep and set down on [...]

Malaysian Elections: A Case of Too Little, Too Late for UMNO?

Friday, April 10th, 2009

The by-elections in Malaysia this week have demonstrated in many ways the fact that Malaysia’s political landscape has changed very little over the past year: The ruling Barisan Nasional (National Front) that is dominated by the UMNO party won the by-election in East Malaysia, but lost both by-elections in the West Malaysian states of Perak [...]