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My brother bought that Doublethink

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  It is an overplayed cliché to compare governmental overreach and abuse to George Orwell’s seminal Nineteen Eighty-Four . Indeed, when the serious political point one is trying to make has its own Know Your Meme subdirectory , it might be arrogantly ignoring fate to bull-headedly press on. It should come to no surprise to the regular reader that with the piling on of yet more police scrutiny onto the whistleblower of MACC Chief Commissioner YBhg. Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Haji Azam bin Baki’s apparent shareholdings; we have prepared some thoughts regarding how Orwellian the Malaysian state apparatus has been in its handling of the entire ‘Azamgate’ fracas. The Force of Law & Thoughtcrime Explicitly without implying fault, criticism, or forejudgement; Azam’s MYR 10 Million defamation suit against the whistleblower could be argued to bear many of the hallmarks of a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation ( SLAPP suit ). SLAPP suits are typically employed as a legal tactic, an

The Other Malay Dilemma

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  It perhaps amounts to information that divulges more than is strictly necessary about the personal condition of the author to disclose that in the early years of one’s primary school education, Science and Maths were taught in Malay. This was changed within a year or two of my beginning school proper to English being used as a medium of instruction, only for that change to be itself partially reversed near the end of my time at primary school – I remember distinctly that the Science and Maths UPSR papers for which we sat were bilingual, printing questions in both Malay and English in what can in retrospect only have been described as taxpayer-funded indecisiveness. It seemed then, and does now, that the relationship this country has with its national language has always been a tense one – a statement which hardly seems an insightful or controversial revelation to anyone with a cursory understanding of this nation’s political history. Equally self-evident, however, is the seemingly

The Many Failures of Malay(sian) Nationalism – Part 1

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    ‘A nation is the same people living in the same place.’ ‘By God, then,’ says Ned, laughing, ‘If that’s so I’m a nation for I’m living in the same place for the same five years. So of course everyone had the laugh at Bloom and says he, trying to muck out of it: ‘-Or also living in different places.’ Ulysses, by James Joyce   Nationalism in the abstract is notoriously tricky to define: a cursory reference to Anderson’s seminal “ Imagined Communities ” should be sufficient prompting for the interested reader to investigate further – the nation is a social construct limited to a certain in-group, in which members of that in-group recognise their distinctiveness (which is in turn recognised by other groups) on the basis of shared sociocultural practices and behaviours. That thesis is broadly convincing insofar as it provides a basis for taxonomy and categorisation; but in the service of inclusivity and general application may not necessarily examine the purposive elements