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PKR has never won a parliamentary seat i

PKR has never won a parliamentary seat in Borneo, until last year. Darell Leiking is only an appointed vice-president, but considering the performance gap over there for the party, the highest official from there in the party hierarchy has the opportunity to become a game-changer.

To begin, the party needs to know what is possible in Borneo for GE14. Acknowledging that Barisan Nasional (BN) has too many seats in Sabah and Sarawak does not on its own become an argument that Pakatan Rakyat can win more seats. There is a reason why they win there.If Darell can map out the electoral reality then he can chart a campaign which is founded on grassroots strength rather than righteous objection to the corruption and poverty.

He is the first to win a ticket to Parliament there; the challenge is to replicate that success elsewhere.

My weekly column in The Malay Mail Online. http://ow.ly/CQ5VP

October is here

tennessee-treeOCT 10 — I met a friend last week.

It was really good, since we have not met up for over 10 years. At the end of lunch, I realised this was the first time we ever sat down and talked that long.

Life is like that sometimes. What was not is not a better now, but a different now with no reference to the was all the years back.

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“Malaysia is one of the major education

“Malaysia is one of the major education destinations in the world, something like 12th, but this is driven by droves arriving seeking economic opportunities in Malaysia via student passes and marketing initiatives to capture sales in unchartered states — marketing firms being paid handsomely, degrees guaranteed upfront and shifting operations to the next country which has not learnt from returning graduates how much fun there is to be had living and studying in Malaysia.

And just like in every other sector, local business owners — in this case universities — hire foreign workers to replace locals on the basis of competitive pay. Your Bangladeshi business math lecturer earns far more than his countryman manning petrol stations but far less than his Malaysian competitor is willing to go for. ” http://ow.ly/Cu3M3

My weekly column in The Malay Mail Online

It is one thing to defend a bankrupt ide

It is one thing to defend a bankrupt idea, it is despicable to use the millions of Malaysians completely indifferent about any law which has yet to personally charge them in court as fodder.

The poor know they are being used.

The poor are quiet because life is hard on its own — they can ill-afford social evolution from their two-room flats. They expect those with better opportunities in life, having seen how the application by a few can move mountains, buy gear to scale their hopes to a proper summit.

A system, whichever one you pick, has to revolve around efforts to pull the many up and expect them in turn to do the same for the next out-of-luck guy. When the system is markedly about the few who did get to rise above establishing structures to limit the everyone-not-them, then catch-all laws become very attractive. http://ow.ly/CbNiB

“My home state, Selangor, is experienci

“My home state, Selangor, is experiencing a massive surreal hangover. Forget those spin-doctors in Putrajaya, Tel Aviv or Ulan Bator, the real home of endless possibilities (read: #EndlessPossibilities) is where the water does run dry at the taps and loans are all truly interest-free.” http://ow.ly/BTMln My weekly column in The Malay Mail Online

“But the Malaysian examinations today a

“But the Malaysian examinations today are not about aptitude per se, they are worryingly about repetition, rote learning and willingness to play the game. So while parents want the best for their children, the reduced learning environment our schools are in presently would mean that our products will be less competent on the average when they enter the global tertiary market and thereafter job market.

Smart kids are likelier to successfully manoeuvre the course, but the course is not likely to improve them. They are being short-changed in the system presently.

This will become even more acute as the improvements of the systems in developed nations and other rising nations are increasingly palpable.”

My weekly column in the Malay Mail Online. http://ow.ly/BDVmk

There are those that retort in a way tha

There are those that retort in a way that Borneo is failing the ideal of Malaysia by their gross indifference to Malaysia. What befuddles me about these critics is that they feel Malaysia — or any country — is a priori.

A country is a concept formed through persuasion and guile, and needs to be built thereafter.

Defending a nation’s existence using history is a slippery-slope. The present states of Malaya can justify the present federation as a reinstitution of the Malacca Empire. But so can Indonesia via Majapahit or Srivijaya or to a lesser effect Acheh claim territories overlapping present day Malaysia. Cheekily, China can claim all.

But all their postulations are tenuous because we are in an archipelago. These islands are less tightly or uniformly knit like swathes of continental Europe. Their claim of a deeply connected and common history is far more decipherable, while over here it is a series of closeness with enough differences operating largely exclusive. http://ow.ly/BnaHB

My weekly column in The Malay Mail Online

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