|Najib Waffles Over MH17 Disaster
Asia Sentinel, 22/07/2014 -- In fact, Malaysia’s involvement in behind-the-scenes bargaining with the rebels was very much second fiddle to the Dutch, who not only suffered the most deaths in the crash but were also better equipped to examine the evidence. Yet the Dutch showed no signs of letting their desire to negotiate the return of bodies get in the way of strong backing for European Union sanctions against Russia, predicated on the belief by all the EU members that Russia was ultimately responsible via its surrogates in eastern Ukraine, and perhaps more directly.
Harsh Islamic Law Loses Momentum in Malaysia
Asia Sentinel, July 11, 2014 -- Mahathir has been perhaps the strongest voice opposing any such law, ironically despite the fact that he has been a moving force behind the strident Malay nationalists who have been calling for its passage. It has once again shone a spotlight on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, who has once again backed away from taking a strong stance.
The tragedy of the Arabs
Jul 5th 2014, The Economist -- Why Arab countries have so miserably failed to create democracy, happiness or (aside from the windfall of oil) wealth for their 350m people is one of the great questions of our time. What makes Arab society susceptible to vile regimes and fanatics bent on destroying them (and their perceived allies in the West)? No one suggests that the Arabs as a people lack talent or suffer from some pathological antipathy to democracy. But for the Arabs to wake from their nightmare, and for the world to feel safe, a great deal needs to change.
Indonesia’s Prabowo Shows his Hand
Asia Sentinel, 01/07/14 -- The country only emerged into a true – if sometimes raucous – democracy a little over 15 years ago with the fall of Prabowo’s former father-in-law, the strongman Suharto, who had run the country for 31 years before his fall from power in 1998. Suharto’s family accrued corruption on a scale experienced almost nowhere else in the world. The family was accused of amassing a fortune estimated by Transparency International to be between US$15 billion and US$35 billion through KKN, the Indonesian acronym for corruption, collusion and nepotism.
Heaven can wait, but not JAIS or JAIPP
S.Ramakrishnan,16/6/2014 -- A strange phenomenon is being played out suddenly at weddings and funerals of late. Islamic religious authorities seem to be adamant on snatching dead bodies during funerals while grieving spouses and close relatives beg and appeal that deceased was not a Muslim when alive.