A parallel race?

IF Americans know more than average about Malaysia, they know it is multi-ethnic, and because I have an Arabic name and look Chinese, they will diplomatically wonder what I am. I am now good at pre-empting this. Our constitutional definition... more »

Grand canyon of perception

IT is gratifying when one’s country does well in respected international rankings. It provides an opportunity to let out one’s patriotism a little bit, or “my country is better than yours!” This week Malaysia ranked an impressive sixth out of... more »

Restoring the moderate middle

THERE was once an old political party that began life as a party of freedom, championing justice and liberty for people who were previously disenfranchised. For years, the party offered leaders of honour and integrity: not just in its top... more »

History of courageous tolerance

I’M fortunate to have visited Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and other former Ottoman lands in recent years, and a decade ago I went from the ancient university town of Fez and crossed the Strait of Gibraltar into Cordoba, whose Mezquita fascinated... more »

Democracy in debt

I’M in Washington DC, and here the government shutdown is more noticeable – all the Smithsonian museums are closed, and there is less traffic than I remember from living here in 2006, which is a good thing given the crammed... more »

Shutting down divisions

“DUE to the federal government shutdown, this facility is closed.” I have arrived in the world’s declining superpower when, for the first time in 17 years, ‘non-essential’ government services have been suspended and more than 800,000 government employees have been... more »

Moderate optimism in party democracy?

UMNO supreme council member Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah was quoted in the media on Wednesday with the headline ‘to recapture middle Malaysia, Umno needs Najib’. Specifically, he went on to say “he is primarily very progressive. He is a democrat. He... more »

The battle for democracy continues

THE death of a polarising figure can harden opinions held while the person was alive. When Baroness Thatcher passed away earlier this year, some Britons celebrated in the streets with the ditty ‘Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead’, while others... more »
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