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At the heart of Malay Politics

TUN Dr Mahathir Mohamad is being slammed left, right and centre. On social media, among the chattering classes, most of all by those who feel he has betrayed their support of Pakatan Harapan (PH) which saw it to victory in that historic moment in May 2018. 

He has been called many hurtful things, like racist, for attending the Malay Dignity Congress earlier this month, and now even as someone who is pandering to the Muslims by attacking India’s action in Kashmir at the UN General Assembly. 

Read more: At the heart of Malay Politics

Malays must want to stand tall with other races

The organisers of the Malay Dignity Congress (Kongres Maruah Melayu) last weekend would have done well if they had proposed the following five resolutions instead of what was rather deliriously propounded.

The first resolution should be on education and must emphasise it is the basis of human and social progress.

Read more: Malays must want to stand tall with other races

Cautionary tale for Malaysia

October 3, 2019 @ 12:29am 

THREE lessons could be learned from what is happening in Britain over Brexit which could come to cause crisis in our country as it has the United Kingdom. 

The first is about deep and bitter division that is ripping society apart. It may, to an extent, have been derived from huge income and wealth disparity in Britain, but there have been so many other forces at work, not simply a division between rich and poor.

Read more: Cautionary tale for Malaysia

Appoint a spokesman on economic policy

By Munir Majid

September 12, 2019 @ 12:42am

IN the demands on the economy, the difficulty of course lies in how to balance different interests. The underserved, business, the NGOs and so on desire solutions many of which are competing. Good policy is to keep every segment of society satisfied. This is difficult.

What has to happen is to give enough economic satisfaction to every stakeholder such that they do not feel neglected even if each may still feel more could have been done for them.

Read more: Appoint a spokesman on economic policy

Seven things PH must and must not do

By Munir Majid

September 10, 2019 @ 13:30am

IF Pakatan Harapan wants to be returned to power in the next election it must show it is in charge of issues which are falling about all over the place.

First, it must show, even now, that it wants to win the next election. And not lose it by taking the long view or the short-sighted one that it still has three and a half years to put things together.

Read more: Seven things PH must and must not do

China's coming of age

By Munir Majid

August 4, 2019 @ 10:37pm

EVERY time the United States-China trade war escalates, there is plenty of agitation. Markets shoot down, calculations are made of economic costs. President Donald Trump’s threat last Thursday to impose 10 per cent tariffs on the remaining US$300 billion in Chinese imports from Sept 1 was no exception.

Equity markets plummeted. Bond yields came down. US consumers it was worked out, already paying US$830 extra a year from previous tariffs on Chinese imports, would have to pay an additional US$200, this time mainly from consumer products like clothing and footwear.

Read more: China's coming of age

Risks in Pakatan infighting

By Munir Majid

July 22, 2019 @ 10:19pm

IT has been known for some time that Pakatan Harapan component, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is split. 

Events of the last few days surrounding a sex video that is, was and wasn’t, and a retreat which certainly wasn’t, have only highlighted how deep. 

Both the Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Datuk Seri Azmin Ali factions show themselves to be equally strong. But this only enfeebles PKR. Worse, it also takes a toll on public confidence in the PH ruling coalition. 

Read more: Risks in Pakatan infighting

Britain, standing out for all the wrong reasons

Messy divorce: As the Brexit deadline draws near without a firm deal, May has to fend off attacks from all sides.

THE Economist in its annual choice of country of the year had Malaysia in a shortlist of three. However, Malaysia did not make it, largely because it is Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who now leads the country after the historic electoral defeat of Barisan Nasional, and not Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The British publication has always had a deep antipathy towards Dr Mahathir and an extraordinarily generous assessment of Anwar. While Malaysians may not share this disdain or innocent affection, the upshot is Malaysia did not get the accolade. 

Read more: Britain, standing out for all the wrong reasons

Looking back at 2018 – Don’t lose the GE14 victory

THE May 9 GE14 defeat of the ruling Barisan Nasional after 61 years of one-party rule was without doubt a high water mark in Malaysian political history.

Its significance is not just about that victory of the opposition Pakatan Harapan – unexpected, against all the odds, historic which it is – but perhaps more so about what has been laid bare on the state of the nation.

While its corrupt practice was at the heart of opposition to Barisan rule, the depth and extent of corruption exposed have been nothing short of astounding. It was a total kleptocracy, a system infested. Malaysians must be ashamed – so this was our country!

Read more: Looking back at 2018 – Don’t lose the GE14 victory

Pakatan must map course to a new Malaysia

Plenty to do: Malaysia’s new Cabinet needs to get out of the ‘Opposition mode’ and get the government machinery – the civil service – to implement its decisions effectively.

TO pass the test of time and ensure its longevity in power, Pakatan Harapan has to fulfil the expectations that swept it to victory against all odds on May 9.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad put together a Cabinet with a mix of race, gender and age that has never been seen in the political governance of our country.

However, except for a handful of ministers, the Cabinet falls short on experience.

Read more: Pakatan must map course to a new Malaysia

Belt and Road Initiative: Is it all about China?

Originally published in TheEdge Malaysia, 23 – 29 April 2018 edition.

The answer to this question is, it will be if there is no constructive engagement but instead an adversarial attitude and response to all of China’s policies and initiatives.

Read more: Belt and Road Initiative: Is it all about China?