Malaysia

Malaysia at 60: The Promise Fades

On Aug. 31, Malaysia will celebrate – if that is the proper word – the 60th anniversary of its founding with its people subdued and with a government widely regarded as a kleptocacy. It is wracked with a con...

Malaysia Loses a Polymath – and a Malaysian

Rehman Rashid, who died on June 3 in Kuala Lumpur of complications from a heart attack, was described by a friend as “essentially an old-school secular, Anglophile, Queens English-speaking ‘Malay’ with an elite...

Malaysia’s Rajah Bomoh: Throwback to an Earlier Age

On March 8, 2014, Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 disappeared from the radar screens of air traffic controllers at 1:19 am in what has become the biggest mystery in aviation history. The Boeing 777-200R, with 2...

Malay Scholars Find Fault in Malay Leaders

The 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-do...

Official Religious Orthodoxy Driving Malaysia to Extremes

Malaysia likes to present itself as a moderate Muslim state and it is fairly credited with cracking down on terrorism or individuals trying to join ISIS in Syria/Iraq or al-Qaeda related groups. Yet even som...

Malaysia’s Bomohs: Witch Doctors in Modern Society

Last week, students at several schools in the town of Pengkalan Chepa in the eastern Malaysian state of Kelantan suddenly began screaming and gyrating, seeing a particular Malay ghost called Pontianak,  also kn...

Opinion: Don’t Let Radical Islam Colonize Malaysia

Malaysians are fascinated by Islamic preachers from outside even though these preachers live in societies plagued with violent radicalism, chaos, corruption, intellectual shallowness, low rates of literacy, rac...

Johor Sultan Says Be Malay Not Arab

It is not often that modern Malaysian sultans, least of all from Johor, make sage public statements. But a mix of wisdom and exasperation was evident in the recent words of Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan I...

The Two–Year Search for MH370

On March 8, it will be two years since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 left Kuala Lumpur International Airport bound for Beijing and disappeared into the world’s greatest airplane mystery. At 01:19.30, Captain ...

Budget Axe Falls on Malaysian Universities

One of the key sectors in government to face budget cuts last October was higher education. Hidden under the populist measures of the BR1M people’s aid scheme, higher pensions and a widening of zero-rated i...