The Bersih 2.0 9 July 2011 march drew thousands of Malaysians onto Kuala Lumpur’s streets to call for clean and fair elections. But according to Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders, the government-controlled press and the authorities, that’s not what the march was really about. In the aftermath of the Bersih march, The Nut Graph summarises some of the more popular theories by Bersih’s detractors of why it actually organised the march.
Bersih 2.0: “Illegal”, chaos-causing “communists”?By Gan Pei Ling
Waging war against the king. In cahoots with foreign conspirators. Possible communists. Planning to overthrow the government. Illegal T-shirts. Bersih 2.0 seems to embody many evils to the authorities, who have arrested more than 100 in attempts to stop Bersih’s 9 July 2011 march. But have the authorities gone overboard in demonising the rally? What about Malaysians’ constitutional right to freedom of expression and right to peaceable assembly?
Life before MalaysiaBy Ding Jo-Ann
TAN SRI Simon Sipaun counts himself fortunate to be alive today. “My parents had five children, but only two survived…I was the third child and first to survive,” he recounts in an e-mail interview on 1 April 2011. Sipaun not only survived, but went on to win scholarships to Victoria University, New Zealand and Oxford […]
Suhakam chief: “We’re an independent entity”By Gan Pei Ling
TAN Sri Hasmy Agam was appointed the new Suhakam chief in June 2010. Previously, he was executive chairperson of the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR), and secretary-general of the United Nations Association of Malaysia. “I’m conscious of the fact that I’m no longer a civil servant. Now that I’m the chair[person] of Suhakam, […]
What’s missing in Selangor’s FOI lawGuest Column by Sonia Randhawa
EVEN as the Selangor government is being lauded for introducing freedom of information (FOI) legislation in the state, much is lacking in the Pakatan Rakyat-led government’s enactment. Indeed, the Selangor government may be shortchanging citizens in the state with its version of FOI. There are two reasons why access to information is a vital right […]
How the govt undermines SuhakamBy Deborah Loh
WE know that Senator Ezam Mohd Nor was diverting from the real issue when he commented on the story about foreign workers at the new Istana Negara construction site allegedly not being paid their wages. He turned what was really a human rights issue and possible labour law violation into a case of undermining the monarchy. What is more important than Ezam’s rhetoric is that once again, an authority tasked with protecting people, the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), is disregarded.
Starting school at age five: Should we?By Deborah Loh
PETALING JAYA, 2 July 2010: If the government wants children to start school at five instead of six, it must first review the existing curriculum for pre-school and Standard One, experts said. “There ought to be some reviewing of the curriculum so that there’s less emphasis on academic performance at such an early stage,” said […]
Will a media council work?Holding Court by Ding Jo-Ann
IN the interest of media freedom, Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin recently stepped up to the plate in Parliament by calling for the abolishment of the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA). Khairy advocated the setting up of a national media council and for the media to be allowed to self-regulate without government interference. The […]
Suhakam nails itBy Gan Pei Ling
“The Malaysian government appears to be more interested in pursuing short-term political advantage rather than safeguarding rights,” says Human Rights Watch (HRW) deputy Asia director Phil Robertson. But the government begs to differ…
Diverting Aminulrasyid’s shootingBy Deborah Loh
“People are angry when a member of public is shot but the same can’t be said when police are shot. They have no sympathy at all. Is there a difference between the life of the public and police [officers]?” HOME Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, asking the public to be fair to the police following […]