Aliran Monthly 29: 1 editor’s note

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AM coversIn our cover story, Andrew Aeria looks at the state of our democracy one year after 8 March 2008. What he uncovers is not a pretty picture – much of the abuse of power and nonsense still remains. Electoral democracy, human rights, the judiciary and the media all remain broken.

Nowhere is this more glaring than in Perak. Martin Jalleh describes how political roguery has run riot. Umno’s backroom politics engineered a backdoor takeover of the state from under the rakyat’s noses, providing Najib with the perfect background to lead Bolehland into a political backwater.

Our legal system too is in need of reforms, points out Hamid Ibrahim. Our major criminal laws were imported from India, but while the laws in India and elsewhere have been reformed, ours are ripe for change.

Meanwhile, Angeline Loh describes the impending death of the rule of law and public security in the wake of cases of custodial torture and deaths.

Is Malaysian democracy really lost and broken? Zaid Ibrahim provides more insights in the final part of his presentation.

We have lessons to learn from Latin America, a continent where political and economic ferment has been brewing. Francis Loh reports on a unique assembly of progressive intellectuals and artists in Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela.

Another view from afar comes in the form of a new book about Malaysia’s first year at the UN, based on Tun Dr Ismail’s dispatches home. Ooi Kee Beng, who compiled the book together with Ismail’s son Tawfik, reports on the launch of the book.

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