Autocrats vs The People: Authoritarian Populism in Malaysia

Autocrats vs The People: Authoritarian Populism in Malaysia

Announcing New Book!

The book is yours for FREE if you subscribe or renew your Malaysiakini subscription for 1 year at RM200 from December 7 – 31.

*Terms & Conditions Apply

Click here to claim the book.

Subscribe or renew here.

About The Book

Anne’s 1993 PhD thesis, ‘Authoritarian Populism in Malaysia’, published in 1996 by Macmillan was ahead of its time in its theoretical and political conceptualization of this current world-wide phenomenon. She has updated her thesis as a reminder of this Malaysian variant of authoritarian populism and its consequences. Apart from the toxic effects of populism on ethnic relations, authoritarianism has cost the country billions through financial scandals including the current 1MDB losses. Clearly, good governance and populism cannot coexist.

This book demonstrates how populism in Malaysia is long established and has been sustained ever since the New Economic Policy that came into force in the post-May 13, 1969 period. The Malaysian variant is a populism that is based on a call for ethnic entitlement (‘Bumiputeraism’) and one that has become increasingly Islamic in recent years. Anne’s thesis also contains one of the most thorough expositions of the politics surrounding detention without trial and other repressive laws in Malaysia.


  • Introduction
  • The Colonial Roots of Authoritarian Populism
  • The Post-Colonial State
  • Suppression of Political Opposition
  • Restructuring the State and Society
  • State Repression in the Seventies
  • Authoritarian Populism Under Mahathir
  • Class Contradictions and Popular Protest
  • Authoritarian Populism Entrenched
  • Conclusion

About The Author

Anne Munro-Kua received her BA in political science from the University of Sussex (1978) and her PhD from the Faculty of Economics & Social Studies, University of Manchester, UK (1993). She has taught in schools, colleges and universities in the UK and Malaysia and has also edited several publications including ‘Women’s rights as Human Rights’ and ‘Women and New Technology in Asia’. Since 2007 she has been leading her training and coaching consultancy, AMK Transformations.

What The Readers Say

Professor Edmund Terence Gomez, University of Malaya

‘Anne Munro-Kua’s analysis of authoritarian populism and its evolution in Malaysia is different, yet equally compelling, carefully traced against the grain of official history… a timely reminder that we need to be aware that this continuous process of constructing and reconstructing populist rhetoric is a tool employed by the ruling elite to perpetuate authoritarian rule.’


Gareth Richards, writer, editor, bookseller

‘Anne’s conceptualisation of ‘authoritarian populism’ has helped crystallise the defining features of the postcolonial Malaysian political economy.’


Gayathry Venkiteswaran, Lecturer at Nottingham University

‘This book is highly recommended for anyone wishing to understand how and why the Malaysian authoritarian state has been able to survive this long.’

The book is yours for FREE if you subscribe or renew your Malaysiakini subscription for 1 year at RM200 from December 7 – 31.

*Terms & Conditions Apply

Click here to claim the book.

Subscribe or renew here.

PANGOI going places!

PANGOI going places!

Patrick Goi is a man of many talents. As the founder and managing PANGOI, Goi is also an accomplished chef and a ballroom dancer. He too is a recognised sommelier.

After nine years of working in a fashion and beauty retail industry, Goi decided that the time has come for him to set out on his own.

Known for his infectious energy, the affable Goi set up PANGOI Group Sdn Bhd in 2014 with the aim to redefine the world of fashion via its flagship brand name ‘PANGOI’.

As the founder of PANGOI, Goi’s primary responsibility is to expand the group’s market in Malaysia and beyond particularly the Asia Pacific and Middle-East.

‘Specifically, I make sure that we maintain a good rapport with our existing and potential clients and principle. I also head the research team, where we look into the demands and needs of our customers. Besides that, I guide and train my marketing team.”

Managing a new company in a highly competitive environment may sound daunting to some but Goi embraces all these head-on.

He noted that the toughest part of managing PANGOI is the fact that the industry itself is highly competitive.

“New products are being launched almost on a day-to-day basis, which means I have to be on my toes all the time in order to be updated on the latest trends, which will help me reach out to the customers more effectively,” he explained.

Goi has been working very hard in the past to learn more about the inner dealings of the industry so much so he has picked communication and networking skills.

“It helps with my confidence and I am now very motivated to make it big for my brand. Working in the marketing line has also taught me to be creative and innovative to reach out to the customers. Most importantly, it has taught me that the key to success is always to have a good attitude,” he acknowledged.

Born in Bukit Mertajam, Goi made the bold decision to leave the comforts of home for Kuala Lumpur at the tender age of 17 despite objections from his family.

“It wasn’t easy and I knew that. So even though I started from the very bottom of the ladder, I was still optimistic and motivated,” he recalled.

He reminisced the long hours he spent as a part-time promoter for different beauty products.

“It was tiring working and studying for my Diploma at the same time but it was worth it. As soon as I completed my studies, I began working at a department store,’ said Goi.

It was not long before he was promoted to a department manager position and Goi was only 21 years old.

“And I did not stop there. I knew that I had to do more so when I chose to continue my studies, I moved to the beauty and cosmetics industry as an assistant marketing manager for Total Image,” he shared.

This decision, he explained, did not only offer better career prospects but allowed him to work during the day and attend his classes in the evening.

When he completed his double degree in Economics and Business Management from the University of Greenwich, Goi found himself already in love with the fashion industry.

That was how his relationship with Alfio Raldo began.

“My first week on the job at Alfio Raldo was the longest and most tiring week of my life. I felt nervous to start a new chapter but at the same time, motivated to hold such a great responsibility in the company,’ he said.

Despite being new, his driven personality soon proved him to be a fast learner.

“It has always been about the end results for me and I make sure to put my skills to great use.”

The strategy proved to be fruitful. Within the first three months working for the company, Goi succeeded in getting the products listed on permanent counters in several department stores. How did he achieve the feat in such a short span of time?

“Persistence, persistence and persistence,” he shared with a laugh.

On a personal note, Goi still finds time to pursue his other interests.

“I love to cook and even participated in a cooking show on 8TV entitled Hot Chef. I am also a Latin dancer and have taken part in international ballroom competition overseas representing Malaysia!”

“When I am not cooking or dancing, I like to watch movies and listen to music. When I feel like breaking into a sweat, I find squash a great way to keep healthy.”

That certainly doesn’t mean that he is at the height of his potentials.

With a prospective MBA and a successful local fashion brand slowly making its way into the international market within the next five years, he has quite a journey of self-discovery waiting for him.

Key values that the company promotes include honesty, passion, results-driven, effective communication and sharing of knowledge and expertise.

“It is essential for our staff to uphold these values in order for us to achieve our collective goal.”

PANGOI Group Sdn Bhd was established in 2014 by Patrick Goi, who is also its managing director.

Riding on its founder’s vast experience in the retail industry, the company dabbles primarily in leather lifestyle products and merchandises.

Although a new player, the company strives to maintain the highest standards of materials and workmanship. PANGOI remains committed to carefully upholding the principles of quality and integrity that define the company.

The company’s products represent the unique combination of Malaysian culture and attitude, and superior product quality and durability as well as its commitment to world class customer service.

Today, the company is carrying its own brand, PANGOI, which aims to fulfil women’s desires to own a high quality yet affordably priced handbags, wallets and purses.

For that, PANGOI creates fresh new looks to appeal to modern women not only in Malaysia but also across the region from Australia to the Middle East.

Goi is engaging designers from Australia, Indonesia and Dubai to design and produce PANGOI handbags and purses where rich details are paired with high technical innovation.

Today, PANGOI products are available at its six outlets in Malaysia. It also is opening its first international outlet in Istanbul soon. Plans are afoot to have more outlets in Malaysia and abroad.

To ensure that all will be able to enjoy his handbags, Goi has also introduced PG for PANGOI, a much more affordable line that encapsulates PANGOI’s elegant and upscale designs.

The intention of this line was to make inexpensive fashion available for all.


Heart disease: the number one killer of Malaysians since 1970s

Heart disease: the number one killer of Malaysians since 1970s

The statistics

Heart diseases were the third-biggest cause of death in Malaysia in 1950. By the 1970s, they have become the number one killer and remained so since (except in 1980). In 2014, heart diseases killed 10,432 people or 13.5% of all deaths in Malaysia.

Cardiovascular (relating to the heart and blood vessels) disease is responsible for one-quarter of all hospital deaths in Malaysia. Moreover, Malaysian acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients are relatively younger at 58.5 years old when compared to registries from more than 40 other countries. In the Americas and Europe, the figure is at 66, while Thailand reports 65, Middle East at 56, and 60 in India.


One out of four heart attack patients in Malaysia are less than 50 years old.

What are heart diseases? What causes them?

There are no shortage of online resources on heart disease. explores this topic in great detail, and in digestible nuggets. Below are excerpts, paraphrased.

Heart disease refers to various types of conditions that can affect heart function. They include:

  • Coronary artery heart disease – affects the arteries to the heart.
  • Valvular heart disease – affects how the valves function to regulate blood flow in/out of
    the heart.
  • Cardiomyopathy – affects how the heart muscle squeezes.
  • Heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmias) – affect electrical conduction.
  • Heart infections where the heart has structural problems that developed before birth.
  • Like any other muscle in the body, the heart needs an adequate supply of blood to provide it oxygen to fulfil its role – pumping blood to the rest of the body. When one or more coronary arteries narrow, it may make it difficult for sufficient blood to reach the heart, especially during exertions, such as exercise. This could cause the heart muscle to ache, just like any other muscle in the body. If the arteries continue to narrow, it may take less activity to stress the heart and provoke symptoms.

    If a coronary artery becomes completely blocked – usually due to a plaque that ruptures and causes a blood clot to form – blood supply to that area of the heart may be lost, causing the heart muscle there to start dying. This is called a myocardial infarction (myo=muscle + cardia=heart + infarction=tissue death), or heart attack in layman’s term. If not swiftly treated, the affected part of the muscle cannot be revived. It dies and is replaced by scar tissue. Long term, this scar tissue will decrease the heart's ability to pump efficiently, and may lead to ischemic cardiomyopathy (ischemic=decreased blood supply + cardio=heart + myo=muscle + pathy=disease).

    Are you at risk?

    IMAGE: 123RF

    Heart diseases are not caused by one single factor. There are several risk factors that increase your chance of developing heart disease. Knowing your risks is the first step to avoidance.

    Factors that put people at increased risk for heart disease are:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of heart problems, especially heart attacks and strokes
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Heart Disease: Control and Awareness is among the topics featured at the 1st Penang Medical Expo & Malaysian Healthcare Policy Conference (PMEX 2017), to be held at Setia SPICE Convention Centre on 10-12 November 2017. PMEX 2017 is organised by the Penang State Government and Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) in collaboration with Penang Centre of Medical Tourism, Penang Institute, Invest Penang and Malaysia Medical Association, Penang Branch.

    PMEX aims to serve as a platform for all interested parties from health-related sectors to communicate, exchange ideas, formulate solutions and create a healthcare network in Malaysia.

    For more information, visit:

    These products will give you the peace of mind you deserve

    These products will give you the peace of mind you deserve

    These products will give you the peace of mind you deserve

    Panther 911

    With 100% of success rate in frightening away the intruders!

    Our 6 Command Centres (Penang, Selangor, Melaka, Johor Bahru, Sabah & Sarawak) calls to police & authorities upon alerts by our real-time video monitoring.

    We protect your assets!

    What you will get:

    – Free Equipment

    – 3-Line zoning motion detection & verification

    – Panic button for immediate help

    – Audible voice warning & siren alert

    – 24 Hour Protection 365 days

    – Battery & 3G Connectivity Backup

    – Immediate agent response & police alert

    – No false alarm

    Product introduction & demo

    Panther Mobile

    Prevention is better than cure

    This had been poven by Panther911 Video Monitoring Station (VMS) Service with more than 6,000 residential & commercial customers with us and 100% break-in prevention rate. Now with a proven prevention platform, committed VMS agent that on standby 24 hours x 7 days & using the accuracy combining technology of Global Positioning System (GPS) and Location Base Station (LBS), Digistar is proud to introduce Panther Mobile “TELCO & SECURITY 2-IN-1 Solution” that specially developed for children, ladies, elderly and those in need when untoward incident going to happen.

    Imagine your love one is in distress or emergency situation, with just a press of SOS button on the devices, Panther Mobile will provide an immediate response, tracking solution and necessary assistance supported by SAFECAM PARTNERSHIP with Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM).

    With less than RM1 a day and FREE DEVICES PROGRAM, Panther Mobile is your Trusted Security Partner that committed to PROTECT YOU ANYTIME ANYWHERE!

    How it works

    Panther mobile introduction video

    For more information, please visit:

    Panther 911 Website

    Panther Mobile Website

    Or fill out the form below and allow our customer service to serve you

    Shark Hero Conservation Run 2017 & Pledge Signing Ceremony

    Shark Hero Conservation Run 2017 & Pledge Signing Ceremony

    Acexelent Sdn Bhd (“Acexelent”) announced that Shark Hero Conservation Run 2017 (“SHCR17”) will be held on 18 Nov 2017 in Celebration Centre, Sunsuria City from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. In collaboration with Shark Savers Malaysia and WWF-Malaysia, SHCR17 is organized with the aim of raising public awareness toward the role of sharks in marine life ecosystem and to advocate for shark conservation. The programme of SHCR17 consist of a 4km family themed fun run and carnival styled activities including stage show, magic show, game booths, temporary tattoo booth, photo booth and clown & balloonist. Food & beverages trucks have been arranged to serve the participants during the day.

    Adult ticket and child ticket are currently available for RM75.00 and RM65.00 respectively and can be purchased via Alternatively, public can contact Ms Yen (0162138690) to purchase directly. RM 5.00 from each ticket will be donated to fund administrated by Shark Savers Malaysia. Further detail of SHCR17 are available in

    Each participant will be entitled to a goodie bag that carries a Running Jersey , Number Bib, Shark soft toy, medal. Besides, limited edition badges especially designed by Pocohtee & Friends will be given out to participants as milestone rewards. Participants will also be given free vouchers to enjoy themselves in various activities.

    During the run, there will be a group of Shark Savers volunteers dressed in shark suits running to the finishing line. Throughout the event day, volunteers will also be conducting shark-themed craft and activities are free for public to take part. In addition, Shark Savers will display educational exhibition aim to raise awareness of the importance of sharks in our ocean and how to make our seafood sustainable. Participants can look forward to two 7 feet long white blank sharks sculpture on the day itself and public is welcomed to take part in painting them to live. The sculptures is constructed by volunteers from Malaysia Institute of Art with recycled materials.


    "Shark conservation requires a long-term approach. We will work with partners to reverse the situation. Hence, I would like to express our appreciation to our organising partner, Acexelent Sdn Bhd and Sunsuria Berhad for this wonderful venue. Thank you for your support!"

    Said Alicia Tan, CFO of Shark Savers Malaysia.


    “Sunsuria City is designed and built around the core principles of ‘Smart, Liveable, and Sustainable’ or ‘SLS’ – and we are determined to infuse these elements into everything that we do here. No doubt we have heard the immense role sharks play in the marine biome and here at Sunsuria; conscious of the environmental footprint that we leave behind, we hope to also play our role to host this educational & fun evening at Celebration [email protected] City. With this initiative in place, we will continue our quest for a more sustainable township.”

    Said Mr. Simon Kwan, Senior Director of Sales, Marketing & Operations of Sunsuria Berhad.

    In conjunction with SHCR17, Acexelent is privileged to be able to invite numbers of corporate figures, entrepreneurs and celebrities to join in for shark-no-more pledges. The esteemed guests attended the press conference to sign their pledges and will commit in future to avoid shark products in their personal and organization capacities. Guests were presented with a certificate to recognize their efforts in marine life conservation.

    Acexelent is honoured to have the support and contributions of individuals and corporations and without their offering of helps, SHCR17 will not be able to get underway as planned. Acexelent would like to express its gratitude to all its partners and sponsors and will endeavour to make SHCR17 a successful event.


    Tel: 016 213 8690

    Tap Your Way to an Uber Lifestyle – It’s Simple

    Tap Your Way to an Uber Lifestyle – It’s Simple

    In Malaysian cities, urbanites are always on the go; whether it’s zipping to a business meeting by day, rolling up in style to the hottest hangout on a Saturday night, or mall-hopping during the weekend. However, in getting their way around, locals and tourists sometimes come up against traffic jams, a lack of interconnectivity for public transit, overcrowding and expensive charges (for parking, tolls or fuel).

    Since launching in Malaysia more than three years ago, the Uber app has sparked a change in how Malaysia moves.

    However, many have yet to embrace the the idea of simply pushing a button and getting a ride. This is why we are focused on creating opportunities to offer people a first try. With Uber, you can simply press a button and choose where you want to go, when you want to go, and in what kind of vehicle you want to go in. This probably doesn’t make sense to you until you’ve experienced the magic of having choice at the touch of a button.

    Want to try Uber? Here’s how:

    1. How do I download the Uber app?

    The Uber app is available FOR FREE on both iOS and Android. Just open up the Apple Store or Google Play and download the app.

    2. How do I create an account?

    Enter a valid email address and phone number. Once you’ve completed the signup process, a code will be sent to verify your phone number. Verify your account and you’re ready to ride!

    3. Where to?

    Tap “Where to?” and key in your destination. You’ll have the option to take either an uberX, uberXL or uberBLACK with the fare for each stated there. uberX gives you the most affordable choice for a ride for 1-4 people. For bigger groups of up to 6 people, choose uberXL. And if you feel like splurging a little more once in awhile on a fancy ride – opt for uberBLACK. Remember – the fare you see is the fare you pay, unless you divert from the route. You can also add your favourite or frequent destinations as bookmarks, and that saves you time – instead of selecting that location again and again.

    4. Hey… where’s my car?

    When your ride is on the way, your driver’s name, car number plate and contact number will be shared immediately. All this helps you know who your driver is. Once in a while, you may encounter a hearing-impaired driver partner. The app will let you know in advance so that when you get on your ride, you’ll be able to sign a “Hello” instead of saying it. That helps, doesn’t it? Just simply check that all details are right when your driver arrives, and you’ll soon be on your way!

    5. Oh my… wrong location!

    We understand that sometimes you’re in a hurry and may accidentally put in the wrong location. Or if you change your mind on where you want to go, and have that “Oops!” moment and want to change your destination. The good news is… you can! Did you think that was not possible with Uber? We did say we understand you. To change your location, select “Edit” next to your pickup location and key in the new location or drag the pin to a preferred location within the grey circle on the map. Once done, tap the “Confirm” button. Do note, however, there might be a fare increase when you change locations depending on the route, distance and time.

    6. How was your ride?

    Every rider is valuable to us and that’s why we want to know how your ride went after every trip that you take. You can do so by sharing your rating and feedback in the app itself. This automatically pops up when your trip ends and you can select between 1-5 stars for each driver. And here’s the thing – your driver will rate you too after every trip. We want the Uber experience to be great for both you and your driver. So, remember when you’re riding, ride safe, ride nice!

    7. How do I pay?

    You can pay for your Uber with both credit card or cash. Select “Payment” from your app menu and add credit card or cash to your payment method, and whichever you select will appear as the preferred payment method automatically.

    More #PROTips

    The Uber app was designed around YOU. There are additional features you will find useful, which you probably haven’t thought about.

    ➔ Can I share my whereabouts?

    Yes, you can. Simply click on “Share Status” in the app and a real-time map of your route together with the estimated time of arrival will be shared to the contact number you select. Those that receive your ETA can track your journey in real time. And let’s hope you get that grand welcome… or just simply, see your loved ones breathe that sigh of relief, knowing you arrived safely.

    ➔ Can I book a ride ahead of time?

    Sometimes, you want to plan your day ahead of time so that you’ll be punctual for your appointment. For example, if you’re heading to the airport and you know you’ve got to be there a couple of hours before take off. Now, that is a ride you do not want to miss – we surely don’t want you to miss your flight. Hence why Uber also has this special feature called “Schedule a Ride”. This means that with Uber, you can request a ride between 15 minutes to 30 days in advance of your actual intended pickup time. On top of choosing a date, you can also choose a specific pickup time. This function appears as an icon of a car with a clock next to the “Request” button.

    ➔ Multiple Destinations

    With Multiple Destinations, launched recently, riders can now add up to 3 stops. Whether you’re sharing a ride with your friend en route to the airport, or going home after dinner and need to drop off the party on the way, it’s easier than ever to pick up and drop off your friends and family members along the way.

    ➔ Request for Guests/Loved Ones

    Seniors are concerned about losing their mobility as they age, and their loved ones can feel overwhelmed when managing the senior’s transportation needs. So, we’ve definitely been thinking about ways to make our app more accessible to everyone in the family. Making it easier for our users to request or schedule rides for others and keep track of their journey in real time is certainly a great way to start.

    ➔ 24/7 support

    If you need help at any point before, during or after your trip, we want you to know that Uber has a support team that operates round-the- clock every day. You can reach the support team within the app itself – that saves you the hassle of emailing or making a phone call. With the in-app support, rest assured we’ll be able to help you with your query in the quickest time possible. Uber is available in Malaysia in 15 cities – Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Penang, Ipoh, Seremban, Batu Pahat, Langkawi, Melaka, Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan, Alor Setar, Kuching, Miri, Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan.

    Uber is connecting Malaysians one ride at a time.

    We believe that every trip is a journey and every journey is a story worth sharing. In conjunction with Merdeka Day and Malaysia Day, we want to celebrate the common thread that links us – being Malaysian, through our #UBERLAGU initiative. So while on a trip with us, record yourself singing a song that, for you, truly defines being Malaysian. It could be any song – we want to see how creative you can get. You stand a chance of winning RM600 worth of Uber credits, so don’t be shy, get singing!

    Most importantly, try something good today! It’s time for you to Cuba Uber!

    #UberLagu Contest ends on 16 September 2017

    Page 1 of 912345...Last »