Umno faces the rise of an unexpected number of young, more urbanised voters who have little appetite for its old-style racial politics nor its version of Islamism. Johan Saravanamuttu, who attended the party’s recent general assembly, shares with us his impressions of a party that appears to be in survival mode.
Umno simply cannot cope with the arrival of New Politics in Malaysia. In our back-cover story, Francis Loh says the party continues to manipulate ethno-religious issues to delay the emergence of a New Politics associated with justice, equality and freedom and the push towards a more democratic two-party system.
This focus on racial politics has contributed to Malaysia finding itself in a communal rut. If we are to get out of this situation, we have to learn to respect each other, individually and as communities of various ethnicities and faiths, says Angeline Loh. In a second article, she listens to a Rohingyas refugee pouring out his despair over the agonising hardships faced by their families at home.
Cecil Rajendra reviews a couple of books by master photographers Ismail Hashim and Ooi Cheng Ghee. Penang, he says, is fortunate to have in the duo two black-and-white photographers par excellence.
Finally, Jeyakumar Devaraj provides an alternative vision for transport for the country. We need to bring together a coalition of individuals and groups who are committed to sustainable transport and put it on the national agenda.