Skip to content

Tag: pluralism

Holding up a cloudy mirror

Published in Malay Mail Online

After the havoc President Donald Trump has wreaked in his two weeks in office, it is hard not to feel schadenfreude for the superpower that has always acted like it knows what is best for the world. Apparently it does not even know what is best for itself.

Trump has not only antagonised journalists, but seems to be on a warpath against the institution. His strategist Steve Bannon — whom many have now taken to mockingly calling President Bannon — has attacked journalists by labelling them the “opposition party”, demanding the institution just “keep its mouth shut.”

Funny how Trump’s White House was so hell-bent on “correcting” the attendance numbers at his inauguration, with blatantly false information given by the White House press secretary Sean Spicer himself; this was later defended as “alternative facts.”

And Trump’s family members just cannot stay away from his administration, as much as Trump just cannot stay away from his business interests. His daughter Ivanka Trump is reportedly playing a quasi-First Lady role, replacing Melania Trump. Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner is serving as senior adviser to the president.

Then, Trump fired attorney general Sally Yates who had defied him, calling her act a “betrayal.”

To the rest of the world, the actions of Trump’s first few days were mighty repugnant. But to some Malaysians, it was just like looking into a cloudy mirror. Such a familiar sight, but much dirtier.

Will there still be one Malaysia in 2017?

Published as “A Malaysia for All” in Malay Mail Online

The year 2016 has left many of us bruised and battered, emotionally and spiritually, and it is easy to make the mistake of anthropomorphising the year to lay blame at its feet.

There were major celebrity deaths and earth-shattering socio-political upheavals; you would think that 2016 was being unnecessarily cruel to humankind, making it one of the worst years in history.

But alas, 2016 has no mind of its own, nor were the events a deliberate machination of fate. Things just happened.

And in this country, the year 2016 symbolised the start of the deepening fissures that aim to cleave Malaysia in two — a repercussion that we have felt ever since the divisive 2013 general elections.