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Archive for the ‘Kamal Mamat’ Category

TOC’s focus on Malaysia

Posted by theonlinecitizen on March 25, 2008

Rethinking Malaysia’s Multiracialism

Kamal Mamat

It has been a called a seismic shock, a political tsunami and an earthquake of cataclysmic proportions, among others. In short, Malaysia’s 2008 General Election is nothing less than epochal.

The invoked forces of nature notwithstanding, the question is; can Malaysia‘s desire to improve the lives of its rakyat based on the new multiracial ethos succeed?

In Anwar Ibrahim, one could hear the opposition’s exhortation, pledging a new Malaysia that is free of cronyism, nepotism and corruption, evils associated with the present government.

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Posted in Current Affairs, Kamal Mamat, TOC's Writers | 19 Comments »

Malays in 2007: Renewed confidence amidst turbulence?

Posted by theonlinecitizen on December 29, 2007

By Kamal Mamat

Amidst the gloom of inflation and concerns over spiky social issues, one can sense that generally, 2007 has been a positive year for the Malay community. Of course, the rising costs of goods and services dent this sentiment.

But, lest we forget, the five years preceding 2007 were pockmarked by the scars of 9/11 and the subsequent economic recession, which impacted the already economically-disadvantaged community most.

Considering the stigma of having to deal with the extremist elements within, worsened by the economic downturn of those years, the Malays have reasons to cheer, no matter how muted, to what 2007 has brought upon.

A recap of the year 2007 necessitates a detailing of both highs and lows within and surrounding the community.

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Posted in Community, Current Affairs, Kamal Mamat | 41 Comments »

Democracy as a narrative: The Malaysian protest experience

Posted by theonlinecitizen on November 15, 2007

By Kamal Mamat

Many writers have offered the view that the recent demonstration in Kuala Lumpur reflected oppositions’ (including NGOs) dissatisfaction with the current Malaysian government.

In commentaries written of the protests, including Ooi Kee Beng’s latest in the Straits Times, dissatisfaction as the raison d’être has been used to account for the protest. While this is not untrue, the greater narrative that one can discern here is of democracy. I shall elaborate.

The protest is a show, a constructive show, of an affirmative action that applies the conventions of true democracy. Opposition member Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, well known as a champion of democratic reforms, knows precisely that this mechanism can work when it is well-organised, has a clear objective and a solid representation from a united opposition front. The very precise objective means that the protest did not drag on pointlessly, which would inadvertently produce other side-effects.

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Posted in Current Affairs, Kamal Mamat | 6 Comments »

Beyond Tokenism- Malays, Integration and the SAF

Posted by theonlinecitizen on November 6, 2007

By Kamal Mamat

I would like to propose several hypotheses which I gathered after conducting a series of intense and scholarly empirical research on the levels of representation of the Malays in the SAF.

Due to space constraints, I will only list down three of them.

1. Malays’ absence in the Navy. Malay men generally cannot swim because they cannot afford the swimming lessons when they were young. In any case, they have to attend mengaji (Quranic recitation) classes in the afternoons, soccer training on Saturdays and wedding invitations on Sundays at different void decks.

2. Malays’ absence in the Armour unit. It is medically proven that Malay men are more likely to be afflicted with claustrophobia. They hate enclosed spaces, which unfortunately include the armoured vehicles of the SAF. Their propensity for spatial wealth instead of material wealth can be seen in their natural ability to congregate at void decks and the beaches of East Coast Parkway and Changi.
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Posted in Community, Current Affairs, Kamal Mamat | 38 Comments »

Zen and the art of maintaining silence

Posted by theonlinecitizen on October 29, 2007

By Kamal Mamat

My father, who passed away last month at the start of Ramadan, was a member of the Singapore branch of UMNO back in the early 60s.

Later, when Singapore achieved independence, it dissolved and re-emerged as PKMS, an opposition party which is still around today.

Much disheartened by the socio-political events surrounding him after 1965, he slowly dissociated himself from the party.

My father was what we call a man of Zen.

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Posted in Current Affairs, Kamal Mamat | 4 Comments »