Caught Between Two Koreas, Malaysia Dithers on Kim Killing

Caught Between Two Koreas, Malaysia Dithers on Kim KillingSouth and North Korean diplomats are battling to persuade Malaysian authorities of diametrically different versions of the February 13 Kuala Lumpur International Airport assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother Kim Jong-nam, who had exiled himself out of a well-founded belief he could be murdered. One result may have been to stall the investigation,…

Trump’s “Extreme Vetting” for Muslims: Najib Exempt?

Trump’s “Extreme Vetting” for Muslims: Najib Exempt?At 2:30 a.m. one day in mid-November, after the election of Donald J. Trump to the presidency of the United States, the telephone rang in the official residence of Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia. Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor answered the telephone. On the other end was businessman Syed Azman of Weststar Group, a sprawling…

Malay Scholars Find Fault in Malay Leaders

Malay Scholars Find Fault in Malay LeadersThe United Malays National Organization (UMNO) presents itself as the guardian of Malay interests, culture and language. So what do the 1MDB and other scandals say about the fundamental problems of this long-dominant ruling party, the institutional arm of the Malay elite?  The disappearance of vast sums from the accounts of the state-backed 1MDB investment…

Myanmar Migrants Face Malaysian Violence

Myanmar Migrants Face Malaysian ViolenceThe hundreds of thousands of Buddhist migrant workers in Malaysia face a growing cycle of violence, with scant attempts to protect their lives beyond sending out safety instructions.  In recent weeks, relations between the two countries have soured, with Myanmar banning workers from going to Muslim-majority Malaysia after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak lashed out…

Anwar Appeal Loss a Blow for Awakening Malaysian Opposition

Anwar Appeal Loss a Blow for Awakening Malaysian OppositionAnwar Ibrahim’s Dec. 14 failure of the final appeal to overturn his sodomy conviction and a five-year jail term is regarded by critics as little more than a subterfuge to keep him in prison for at least another 16 months and blocking him from competing in the next general election, which must be held by…

The Conspiracy to Save Najib

The Conspiracy to Save NajibIn an extraordinary twist, a new Malaysian website has conflated George Soros, Tony Blair, former US Vice President Al Gore, the “Clinton team,” the aristocratic Rothschild family,  Federal Bureau of Investigation deputy chief Andrew McCabe, former golfing buddy and US President Barack Obama, UK critic Clare Rewcastle Brown and her husband, unnamed individuals from the…

Malaysia’s sedition crackdown continues, political cartoonist held

Malaysia’s sedition crackdown continues, political cartoonist heldPolitical cartoonist Zunar, who has for months defied Prime Minister Najib Razak with a stinging series of almost-daily cartoons, is free after having been arrested for putting on a show of his work in Penang that was trashed by a pro-government mob that punched him and roughed him up. The 54-year-old Zunar, whose name is…

Malaysia Protest Peaceful, Crackdown Continues

Malaysia Protest Peaceful, Crackdown ContinuesMalaysia’s largest anti-government protest in a year saw smaller crowds than a year ago and proceeded peacefully on Saturday with former strongman Mahathir Mohamad calling for the current prime minister’s ouster while a key leader was held without trial for a month under a new security law. Several politicians and activists were also picked up…

Malaysian Police Sweep Up Opponents Ahead of Rally

Malaysian Police Sweep Up Opponents Ahead of RallyIn an unprecedented move, Malaysian authorities yesterday, November 18, descended on the headquarters of the election reform NGO Bersih, arresting its chairperson, Maria Chin Abdullah, and a half dozen other activists in advance of a rally against the government scheduled for the weekend. That was only part of a wide-ranging attack on critics over the…

Veteran Malaysian Diplomat Sounds Alarm over Tyranny

Veteran Malaysian Diplomat Sounds Alarm over TyrannyOvercome our fear or go quietly into the dark night that awaits us Fear is filling our land. People are becoming increasingly afraid of their government, a government which has been amassing more and more power to harass, intimidate, threaten, punish or imprison those who oppose or disagree with it. The goal is to cow…
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