• 03
  • May
2 Votes | Average: 1 out of 1
(2 votes)
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Press Freedom Ranking Dips to 150th!


via Freedom House:

Status: Not Free
Legal Environment: 24
Political Environment: 25
Economic Environment: 19
Total Score: 68

Malaysian media—traditionally constrained by significant legal restrictions and various forms of intimidation—was further restricted in 2006 as a by-product of government attempts to suppress public discussion of divisive and potentially explosive issues. The constitution provides each citizen with “the right to freedom of speech and expression,” but allows for limitations on this right. The government imposes these limitations in practice, ostensibly to protect national security and public order. The 1984 Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) requires all publishers and printing firms to obtain an annual operations permit, and gives the prime minister—as the minister of internal security—the authority to revoke licenses at any time without judicial review. The PPPA has been used by authorities to shut down or otherwise circumscribe the distribution of pro-opposition media outlets and was invoked in early 2006 to indefinitely suspend the Sarawak Tribune and temporarily suspend the Guang Ming Daily for reproducing the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi invoked the act again in mid-February to prohibit the publication, distribution, or possession of any materials relating to the Danish caricatures. The government’s handling of the cartoon issue and use of the PPA fostered fear of a selective crackdown on the press and led the media to self-censor its coverage of major fuel price hike protests in April, some of which were brutally put down by the police

politics101 has quite an extensive description about all the links in the website…check it out!


  • 20
  • Dec
1 Votes | Average: 1 out of 1
(1 votes)
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Malaysia’s squandered reform chance


via Asia Times:

SINGAPORE - Ever since Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi announced soon after taking power in October 2003 that the country was in dire need of deep-reaching economic reforms, the soft-spoken leader has had no peace.

A number of signs are emerging that his administration’s policymakers may have mishandled the country’s macroeconomic balance. Inflation is expected to rise to about 3.6%, the highest level since the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, and economists predict it will gallop at similarly high levels over the next two years.

Weak government management, of course, is more politically volatile when the broad economy starts to slow - as is likely to happen next year. Moreover, inter-ethnic and inter-religious tensions, kept in check during Mahathir’s authoritarian rule, are rising under Abdullah’s more consensual administration. And the issues of contention are being articulated more clearly and more publicly in Malaysia’s traditionally subdued society.

For instance, opposition to the continuance of the NEP is mounting, particularly in the wake of a recent independent research report that showed ethnic Malays now hold more than the NEP’s goal of 30% of the country’s total equity. The report has sparked a politically charged debate concerning the technicalities of measurement. More worryingly, inter-faith conflicts are breaking out into the open, involving highly charged cases where non-Muslim families are increasingly being taken to sharia (Islamic law) courts.


  • 30
  • Nov
1 Votes | Average: 1 out of 1
(1 votes)
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Malaysians Cannot Comment Publicly but a Non-Malaysian Can!


Michael Backman wrote:

Rafidah added to her remarks about my column that no Malaysian should say such things. It’s little wonder that she doesn’t welcome scrutiny from her own people. But then the idea that Malaysians cannot comment publicly about how their country is run but a non-Malaysian can, is disgraceful.

Perhaps Rafidah needs to be reminded who pays her salary.

[on issue of wastage in Malaysia]

Learning (in Malaysia) is largely by rote. In an email to me last week, one Malaysian recalled her schooling as being in a system all about spoon-feeding, memory work and regurgitation. Students are not encouraged to think for themselves and they become adults who swallow everything they’re told.

Even the existing system fails many. It has just emerged that in Sabah state, only 46 per cent of the students who had sat the UPSR the exam that students sit before going to secondary school had passed. One small school actually had a 100 per cent failure rate.

But does the Malaysian Government want creative, critical thinkers? Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi said to the ruling party’s recent general assembly Malaysia needed to make students creative. But that means they must be questioning and thus critical; what hope is there of that when one of Abdullah’s own ministers tells Malaysians that they cannot say the things that I can and hundreds of them write to me to complain because they don’t feel that they can complain to their own Government?

The previous article resonated with me, but not this one though…still there were some issues worth pointing out like corruption and education.


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