Tag Archives: Malaysia

Wikileaks and Singapore’s reputation

12 Dec

A series of Wikileaks cables obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald has shown that senior Singaporean officials have been sending confidential information to their U.S. counterparts on their dismissive impressions of neighbouring states.

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A blast from the past – resettling Vietnamese refugees

31 Dec

According to an SMH report based on declassified documents, the former UK Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, was so paranoid about having refugees in the country that she asked Australia to buy an island for their resettlement.

The issue of force migration must have been a controversial issue even back then. This could be inferred from the drastic measures of the Malaysian government which chose to push back the boats that is believed to have caused many of the refugees to drown. It was also ironic that the former Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, was quoted as objecting to this resettlement plan as he was afraid that it might become a ‘rival entrepreneurial city’. This would contradict his social Darwinian views in which he believed that a prosperous society is based on being governed by ‘educated’ elites.

Malcolm Fraser, the Liberal Prime Minister then, rejected the plan for a refugee colony and Australia went on to receive about 220,000 Vietnamese refugees. He has also publicly criticised the Opposition for their fear-mongering propaganda against refugees.

As Obama’s administration escalates its war on terror (both in Afghanistan and Pakistan) coupled with climate change related catastrophes, the global issue of forced migration is expected to intensify. In that sense, it is time to re-examine the international laws on refugees (the 1951 Convention & 1967 protocol) which is clearly dated and leaves too much discretion to individual states in arbitrarily defining who constitutes a refugee.

Penan people against logging companies

30 Aug

Source: AFP. Penan tribespeople man a blockade with banners and spears to challenge vehicles of timber and plantation companies

Source: AFP. Penan tribespeople man a blockade with banners and spears to challenge vehicles of timber and plantation companies

The indigenous Penan people who live in Sarawak have formed new barricades to prevent several Malaysian timber and plantation companies such as Samling, KTS, Shin Yang and Rimbunan Hijau from their latest activities. Continue reading

Exploitation of Migrant Workers in Malaysia and Singapore

22 Aug

Lianain Films has made two documentaries that was broadcast on Al Jazeera. It shows the plight of Bangladeshi workers cheated by scam agents in Bangladesh, Singapore and Malaysia.

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Malaysian women agrees to be caned

21 Aug

This piece of news comes as a shock to me. What happens when someone actually thinks its ok for herself to be caned?

We could argue it’s her body and it’s her right to agree to be subjected to certain inflictions but if caning is considered as torture under international human rights laws, then what happens? Continue reading

Similarities and Differences between Singapore, Malaysia and African non-democratic regimes

6 Jun

I have just finished a book entitled, ‘Non-Democratic Regimes’ (2nd edition) authored by Paul Brooker.
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A Christmas/ New Year Recollection

22 Dec

Dedicated to the political prisoners who will spend their time in prison during Christmas/ New Year.

As families prepare for the festive season with visits to friends and relatives, John Tan will be spending his time in prison for wearing a t-shirt with a picture of a kangaroo in a judges’ robe. Singapore’s Attorney General Walter Woon had decided that John, along with Isrizal and Shafi’ie should be prosecuted for ‘contempt of court’. While the latter two had finished serving their seven day sentence, John would have missed Christmas with his family and friends because he has a longer 15 day sentence which started on the 16th. These three activists have shown that while political disobedience may come with a price, their struggles will be remembered as part of the increasing edifice of dissent in the tiny red dot.
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