Malaysia’s 14th General Election: THE BIG ISSUES

Malaysia’s 14th General Election: THE BIG ISSUES


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Malaysia’s 14th general election will no doubt be fought between a Barisan Nasional coalition that boasts its sixty years of “stable rule” and a Pakatan Rakyat coalition calling on the electorate to “save Malaysia” from the BN’s kleptocracy. Malaysian voters will likely be treated to tirades about current scandals including 1MDB, as well as past scandals, now that the former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir has joined the Opposition. But what are the big issues of this election?

This book, a compilation of the author’s recent writings, discusses the important issues confronting Malaysian society today. If any sustainable democratic progress is to be made in this country, it is crucial that voters are informed and demand that candidates and their parties clarify their stand on these issues well before Election Day. The author, Kua Kia Soong concludes with an alternative programme for Malaysia that is both inclusive and progressive – ‘Manifesto of the 99%’ by The Left Coalition, to transcend the years of corruption, neo-liberal capitalism and lack of democracy. Failure to learn the lessons of the last sixty years of BN rule will condemn the country to a further dysfunctional future for the vast majority of Malaysians.


Dr. Kua Kia Soong is a director of SUARAM. He was arrested under the Internal Security Act during “Operation Lalang” in 1987 and detained for 445 days without trial. Upon his release in 1989, he helped to found SUARAM (Suara Rakyat Malaysia), the leading human rights organization in Malaysia.

Together with other civil rights activists, he joined the Opposition Front in 1990 and was elected Opposition Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya from 1990 to 1995. He was prisoner of conscience for a second time in 1996 when he spent seven days in prison with other activists for organizing the Second Asia Pacific Conference on East Timor which was disrupted by a mob from the ruling coalition.

He was the Principle of the New Era College, a non-profit tertiary-level institution run by the Chinese education movement (2000-2008); Director of Huazi Research Center set up by the Malaysian Chinese community (1985-90) and Academic Adviser to the Independent Chinese Secondary Schools (1983-85).

Kua received his BA Econ (1975), MA Econ (1976) and PhD in Sociology (1981) from Manchester University, UK. He was a lecturer in sociology at the National University of Singapore in 1978-79.


Part 1: Questioning Pakatan Harapan

  • Saving Malaysia: From Reformism To Opportunism
  • Is the Anti-Najib Coalition A United Front?
  • Do Harapan Politicians Speak For All ISA Detainees?
  • Pakatan’s Unacceptable Tolerance Of Corruption
  • Policyless ‘Pakatun’ Parties
  • Mahathir’s ‘Bumi-Only’ Party Neither Civil Nor Hopeful
  • The Chief Minister’s Blame Frame
  • Time to Limit Terms For All Elected Officials
  • Voting According To One’s Conscience
  • Never Lose Your Dignity, Anwar Ibrahim
  • I Would Prefer Kit Siang As Attorney-General
  • Kak Wan: Eternal Interim Whatever
  • Najib Merely Modeling Mahathir on Foreign Investments
  • Those Were The Days of Hope

Part 2: Questioning Barisan Nasional

  • Aye To RCI’s On 1MDB, Forex Losses And BMF Scandals
  • Malaysia Transforming into A Police State
  • Does A Critical Thinking Society Ban A Course On Marxism?
  • The Malaysian State’s Assorted Phobias
  • Have Non-Malays Always Shunned The Security Forces?
  • Time To Ditch Narrow National Cultural Policy
  • What’s UEC Recognition Got To Do With Sovereignty?
  • Making Sense Of Rather Petrifying Raja Petra
  • Tribunal Findings On 1965 Indonesian Genocide
  • Is NCC2 A Step Forward For Our Nation?
  • Lay Off Malaysiakini & BERSIH
  • How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria With SOSMA?
  • Ineffectual Enforcement & Selective Prosecutions
  • Is BRIM Corruption Or Crass Populism?
  • Keep The Constitution Secular And Inclusive
  • What Are Malaysia’s Defence Priorities?

Conclusion: Manifesto Of The 99%* By The Left Coalition

What The Readers Say


Dr Ariffin Omar, Former lecturer at Universiti Sains Malaysia

“This timely book by Dr. Kua Kia Soong will not only stand the test of time but will remain a classic reference for years to come… It will be a hard struggle for Malaysians to take back the country from the hands of corrupt and indifferent politicians. Yet we must fight on and Kua has given clear pointers of the issues that we must confront and resolve.”


Fuad Rahmat, Business FM

“Finally, an honest and critical look into what Malaysians can expect for the next general elections. Kua writes with verve and profundity, raising difficult questions but always in the end grounded on the conviction that a better world is possible. He speaks truth to power. Look no further for the right balance of academic inquiry and accessibility.”


Gayathry Venkiteswaran - Centre for Independent Journalism

“Kua’s book is a must read for his critical and valuable analysis of the political, economic and social landscapes shaping Malaysia. He challenges the neo-liberal framework that has defined the policies of both the ruling government and opposition political parties, and offers a very much needed inspiration for the way forward.”

The book is yours for FREE if you subscribe or renew your Malaysiakini subscription for 2 years at RM288 from July 1 to July 31.

*Terms & Conditions Apply

Appeal for lighting up a Ranau village

Appeal for lighting up a Ranau village

Appeal for lighting up a Ranau village

Public Appeal

To raise fund for a hydro project that can bring light to a remote village in the interior of Sabah, Kg Pakolen, Ranau-some 5 hours drive from the state capital Kota Kinabalu. The hydro project is aimed at generating 7.5kw to cater for 20 houses in the marginalised village. Since most urbanites will complain loudly even if we suffer black out for a few minutes we hope that you can feel for the deprivation of these villagers who have to live with it for decades!

Villagers’ Effort

Some of the villagers had tried to design and install their own hydro -but failed to go beyond providing for a few houses and for limited time of the day. They therefore request outside help-which we responded. up to 1/3 of Borneo’s villagers live without lighting from main grid electric supply.

Progress of Project

We have conducted 2 recce trips to collect data on the water source and the villagers so far. We have come out with a design, a budget-and now it is time to raise the fund so we can purchase the material needed, fabricate the hydro machine, and pay for logistics to send material to the village. We call upon all caring Malaysians to help us bring light to these dark villages around the country-so, in the long term, all citizens are able to access this very basic amenity!

How you can help:

1. Donation

The budget for the project is RM45k. It will only take 500 donors to chip in Rm90.00 each to reach the target! Let’s start from today! To donate please bank into our official account:

Lightup Borneo PLT; Public Bank, Account number: 3182753709

We will update readers of the collection daily to keep you updated on our progress!

2. Volunteer

You are welcome to volunteer for the full 4 day installation or part of it to join villagers in:

  • Providing labor(installing pipes, wiring), villagers will not be enough to handle the job by themselves;
  • Provide logistic support. eg transport, cooking etc;
  • Do documentation etc.
  • We can pick up volunteers who fly in at KKIA airport. We will transport volunteers from KK or Ranau to go to the village and return.
    Accommodation will be at a small community hall, a couple of villagers’ house and camping.
    Meals will be provided to volunteers – but volunteers need to take turn to cook or form a cooking team.
    What to bring for volunteers: sleeping bag, raincoat, warm cloth, tracking shoes, insect repellent, torch light, power banks/batteries.

    3. Promotion

    Feel free to repost/share/forward this appeal to all your friends/social media so that we can beat the deadline to raise the fund needed to purchase the material/pay logistics for the project!We hope that Malaysians can come together to further our campaign to bring light to dark communities around the country.

    Light for all! All for light!


    Blueair unveils revamped product range

    Blueair unveils revamped product range

    Blueair unveils revamped new classic product range, better performing, sleeker and with clean air intelligence inside.

    First unveiled during the IFA Berlin2015 tech show the much anticipated revamped Classic range is now available in Malaysia since April 2017.

    Complete with a new built-in intelligent air monitoring system called ‘Aware’, a more convenient user interface, improved clean air delivery rates, and new design features enabling improved airflow and quieter operation to ensure that your home is safe from pollutants.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that Europe’s air pollution cost in 2010 alone is a staggering 1.6 trillion US dollars, as a result of the approximately 600,000 deaths and diseases it caused.

    “Blueair’s new technology puts people in control of the air they breathe and makes healthy living and improved well being as effortless as having a robot vacuum cleaner. The Blueair Classic minimizes triggers for people who suffer from allergies and asthma by cleaning indoor air from 99.97 percent of all pollutants, which is great news for our customers and those they care for,”

    said Karin Kruse, Global Product Marketing Manager

    In a report, the WHO estimated that about 7 million people worldwide died as a result of air pollution exposure in 2012 alone. South-East Asia and the Western Pacific areas are the regions in which health is most affected by air pollution, with approximately 3.3 million deaths linked to indoor air pollution and 2.6 million to outdoor air pollution.

    Concentrations of many samples of air contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are also consistently higher indoors than outdoors. An EPA study covering six communities in various parts of the US found indoor VOC levels up to 10 times higher than outdoors, even in locations with significant outdoor air pollution sources, such as petrochemical plants.

    The Blueair Classic air purifier has been designed to protect you and your family from deadly pollutants inside your home.

    The enhanced features of the new Classic also includes a more energy-efficient motor as well as a user-friendly interface under a top lid that flips open to reveal the electronic display indicating when a filter needs changing, a WiFi indicator, operating speed indicator and indicators showing levels of PM2.5 dust and VOCs (volatile organic chemicals) in the indoor air.

    “The new edition of the Blueair Classic reflects our commitment in leveraging connected home opportunities to make it easier for homeowners and businesses alike to benefit from cleaner, healthier air as they move through their day,”

    said Karin Kruse.

    She said the enhancements and benefits offered by Blueair’s latest iteration of its Classic product line reflects customer insight that air purifiers should be mobile, non-intrusive and capable of working while a person sleeps, jogs, eats, works, prepares food or reads a magazine while commuting.

    In a nutshell, Blueair’s Classic air purifiers are easy to configure, easy to maintain, and perform excellently. It is a no-brainer choice for air purifiers currently offered in the market. Blueair offers a literal plug and play solution that is essential for all homes and indoor spaces. The New Classic product line now comes with 6 different models to match all space requirements and easily available throughout nation via 43 different locations.

    Visit Blueair to learn more how to breath better

    Will Uber and Airbnb be given a free hand in Malaysia?

    Will Uber and Airbnb be given a free hand in Malaysia?

    Will Uber and Airbnb be given a free hand in Malaysia?

    written by CY Ming

    While the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) had drawn up plans to regulate ride-hailing services such as Uber by proposing amendments to relevant laws for tabling in Parliament next month, there had been no announcement on private shelters used for renting out for a fee.

    Local authorities must wake up from their slumber as other countries in the region are much more proactive in dealing with the sharing economy.

    For example, the Singapore government was among the first to embrace it and Temasek had invested into Grab, similar to Khazanah investing in Uber. The city state is also hosting the Asian headquarters for Uber and Airbnb.

    But Singapore authorities could see that such services are disruptive and could deteriorate if given a free hand, and has taken measures to keep them in line.

    All Singaporean Uber and Grab drivers are required to obtain a vocational licence. Those without may be fined or jailed.

    The ride-hailing company can be suspended for up to a month after three of its drivers are caught without proper licence or insurance, and enforcement is strict on the island.

    In Malaysia, all ride-hailing drivers would also be required to obtain a vocational licence, which may be called public driver licence (PDL) or public service driver (PSD) licence, after they are regulated from next month.

    These PDL or PSD licences will replace the current public service vehicle (PSV) licences issued by the Road Transport Department for taxi and bus drivers.

    In South Korea and Japan, authorities have limited Uber’s operations, while its service in Taiwan was suspended.

    In Singapore, officials have the right to force their way into homes to check whether residents are renting them out illegally, as local laws do not allow private properties to be rented out for less than six months.

    In Malaysia, no enforcement agency has stepped forward to take the lead in addressing a potential time bomb. Needless to say, there will be plenty of finger pointing should many guests perish in a fire at one of the shelters booked through Airbnb.

    Uber and Airbnb are facing increasing scrutiny by regulators globally and these new economy businesses are throwing up unprecedented growth challenges.

    The sharing economy business is headed for explosive growth from around US$15 billion last year to an estimated US$335 billion by 2025.

    Our regulators should not be caught flat-footed as many of them appear to be in suspended animation while licensed hotel operators are pulling their hairs out over Airbnb.

    Don’t suffer in silence

    Don’t suffer in silence

    Don't suffer in silence

    Praise Maukazuva, 21 February 2017

    1 in 4 women experience Domestic Violence during her lifetime and more than half of these women have children that watch them helplessly as they are abused.

    Repercussions of Domestic Violence vary from woman to woman depending on the type abuse they would have experienced. It can be from their partners, members of the family or total strangers.

    The different types of abuse are:

    Physical This includes Slapping, hitting, kicking, choking, restraining or any other torture that involves human contact.
    Emotional In this type of abuse comes intimidation, degradation, being yelled at or being given a silent treatment. This will also lower their self esteem.
    Sexual Sexual activity without her consent and without any contraceptives.
    Verbal When you are being called names, being accused of doing things that you haven’t done, when for example your spouse lies to you.
    Social Yes! This is actually a form of abuse, that includes a lot of things like a controlling husband, being ill treated in the public or stalking you wherever and whatever you do.
    Financial Financial abuse varies from not being able to support the family making them starve, Or it’s the woman who is working but her money is being used by her husband for things that do not benefit the family.
    Human Trafficking Although this stands as another different and serious issue, it still remains a type of abuse, as women are forced work in terrible conditions as prostitutes, servants or in farming areas. They are often beaten up, drugged and starved. If she refuses, her children will be at risk.

    According to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital Emergency and Trauma Department, 4000 cases have been reported from January 2016 to January 2017 in Malaysia. With the highest of 498 in Selangor and most cases reported from Malays compared to Indians and Chinese.

    Apparently reports have increased rapidly compared to other years. This is because more people have become aware of Domestic Violence as a crime, and are now reporting.

    Examples of Malaysians who suffered recent domestic violence are Ana and Shona Roy.

    Ana experienced domestic violence for 13 years. Her husband forced her to stop working and he treated her like a slave. She faced physical abuse and the only thing that made her endure all this was for her two sons. Read more

    Shona Roy was married to a Saudi-Arabian man, and endure domestic violence for 8 years. The husband was cheating, violent to the extent that he chased her around with a knife, refused her custody of her children and then tried to kidnap them from the hands of their mother.

    Shona Sinha Roy // image via

    Imagine the pain that these two women have endured. Would you want to suffer the same fate? Take not, it can happen to anyone. That brings us to the next issue, how can we stop Domestic Violence. In Order for us to prevent this trivial issue we need to be aware of the causes.

    Remember, the abused is not the cause of the problem. It is the abuser who is in total control and who takes full responsibility for us.

    Abusive relationships, early marriages and violence make women susceptible in marriage. They will not have the courage to say no to an abusive husband. In cases where there are financial problems and employment is scarce, they are scared they will not be able to take care of their children so they’d rather be abused and have their children safe.

    Those that stay in an abusive relationship for the sake of their children are making the biggest mistakes of their lives, and also their children’s lives because they are greater chances that your children will also resort to Domestic Violence thinking it’s a normal way of living.

    But is it fair for women to be caught in such a dilemma, and in this day in age? No matter how many times women beg for help, society turns a blind eye to them, families put pressure on them, and people around trampled on them, make them realized that they don’t have a voice in this world. But after all, they’re still living and fighting for themselves until now. Their perseverance is admirable though they were treated badly. Without women, can the world be advanced like this? And why must these unfortunate people suffer severe consequences and unjust though they have devoted a lot for humanity?

    In conclusion, violence against women is a difficult problem to solve. This is not always under control to be able to fix at all. But people will always have the most reasonable resolutions. I hope that this issue will soon be resolved smoothly so that all of the women will no longer have to suffer from those pains.


    WAO Hotline: 03 7956 3488

    WhatsApp/SMS TINA: 018 988 8058

    WAO Hotline: 03 7956 3488

    WhatsApp/SMS TINA: 018 988 8058

    Understand the common causes that lead to domestic violence and ways to prevent it.

    How to get better at small talk

    How to get better at small talk

    How to get better at small talk

    Praise Maukazuva, 15 February 2017

    Most people find it difficult to socialize or simply engage in a small conversation. Which is normal, because it is not an easy task. You probably have absolutely nothing in common, or they are too sophisticated that you might feel like you are insulting them accidentally. I have been in such situations and they normally end with an awkward pause, or silence.

    So how can we get better at this? You might find the tips below useful:

    1. Show interest in the conversation

    You can show interest by asking more about themselves. Let them talk about themselves. That way you are also able to pick up some areas of interesting that you can discuss on. Show that you care about what they are talking about and be a good listener.

    2. Ask open-ended question

    Avoid questions that will end up with a “yes” or “no” answer. That will end the kill the conversation.

    3. Try to practice with anyone

    It can be your house cleaner, or the security guard. This will help you maintain interesting conversations. It will also make you comfortable with starting up conversations.

    4. Pass out positive comments

    Or to flatter them. People like to be praised and they always want to be associated with people who make them feel better.

    5. Learn from reality show hosts or comedians

    Master how they ask questions and how they handle different expressions or answers, positive and negative both. The order of questions they ask also. It is very important. Questions that are too mumbled will kill the conversation.

    6. Be Honest

    Honesty is an important aspect when it comes to communication. Especially when you want to start a relationship, as it promotes relationships of trust.

    7. F.O.R.M.

    In case you forget or run out on what to ask. F is for family. You can talk about about family. O is for occupation, where they work or if they are still a student, what they are studying. R is for Recreation, what they do for fun or places they have visited so far. And lastly M for Money. Now this doesn’t mean you have to ask them what they earn or how much money they have but simply economy issues or current affairs.

    And most of all. Body language is very important. I will leave you with the last acronym SOFTEN.

    S Smile often, this shows that you are interested in the conversation
    O Open posture
    F Forward lean
    T Touch by shaking hands
    E Eye contact should be kept always
    N Nod your head, to show that you are listening and you can actually relate with what they are talking about