Monday, March 29, 2010

This Week's Recommended Reading

It's been a beautiful, mellow, sunny weekend full of delightful visitors and music - interspersed with a bit of political excitement when Anwar Ibrahim came to Kuala Kubu Bharu with a large contingent of Pakatan Rakyat leaders to kick off the Save Malaysia campaign on 26 March - and drew a fantastic turnout (estimated at 5,000 by Malaysiakini but local opinion has it there were nearly 10,000).

I haven't spent much time at the computer except to keep tabs on current goings-on. There were four items that caught my attention and which I would like to alert you to by way of recommended reading...


The politics of exclusion is making a return, pushing back against the rising tide of inclusiveness that has spread to both sides of politics.

Later this week, a politician who famously earned himself notoriety by being labelled The Frog for his willingness to switch sides will position himself in the cat-bird seat, as the spearhead of a resurgent Malay rights movement.

There is little doubt that Ibrahim Ali and his newly-formed and speedily-registered Perkasa, with Dr Mahathir Mohamad lending his imprimateur, and the Mahathirian old guard in the likes of Aziz Shamsuddin, Sanusi Junid and others gathering around it, will have some apparent clout and the ability to dominate headlines.

But at what price to national cohesiveness?

[Read the rest here.]


Drawn by promises of jobs in Malaysia, thousands of men and women from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal and elsewhere in the region pay substantial sums to recruitment agents. Once they arrive, they find that much of what their agents told them about their new jobs is untrue. Malaysia’s economy depends on the labor of migrant workers yet the government effectively criminalizes them.

[Read the rest here.]

APCO & NAJIB: Beneath the veil of public relations

By Tian Chua

Next Tuesday, March 30, Barisan Nasional parliamentarians will be gearing up to crucify Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim for his comments on Apco. The MPs might think that they are doing the BN government a favour by defending Najib and his high-flying consultancy company.

In the minds of most BN lawmakers, defending the government is equivalent of defending the country. By the same logic, people who criticize the government are simply traitors to Malaysia.

I would like to invite my friends from the other side to think harder, and look harder. In fact, it does not require a lot of effort to find out the connection between Apco and Israel.

[Read the rest here.]


By Raja Petra Kamarudin

"I really don’t care what your ethnic background is. I feel that whatever race we field in this coming by-election is not important. What is important is that it should be a female candidate. Yes, a woman, and not because I love women even though it is true I do. It is because women and not Indians are the neglected lot (and certainly not Malays as PERKASA alleges)."

[Read the rest here.]