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Sabah will be a focal point in the coming general election, especially after the defections of two BN MPs. If the opposition can avoid contesting three-cornered contests then Sabah’s status as a BN ‘fixed deposit’ state could hang in the balance, writes Arnold Puyok.

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Put up tent cannot, gather cannot, wear black cannot, hold candles cannot, drink teh tarik also cannot. No wonder the cops have come under intense scrutiny, observes Martin Jalleh.

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Is there a pattern in the way the Opposition is being targeted? Is this going to be the new strategy to contain the Opposition? Malaysians are genuinely perturbed by the new trend that has emerged.

First it was the son that they went for. They suspended him for the day and that should have been the end of the matter. But no, that was not enough. They had to use the sledgehammer to show that they are in power and that their majority can do whatever it wants to.

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latest AM coverIn our cover story, Anil Netto looks at life after the Kuala Terengganu by-election for the BN. The ruling coalition knows what it needs to do to survive; it has to push through major reforms to wipe our corruption and abuse of power to win back lost support. But is it capable of such reforms?

Someone who should know is Zaid Ibrahim. We have failed miserably in dealing with complex issues of society by resorting to a political culture of promoting fear and division amongst the people, he says.

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Tonight at 9.00pm on TV9

Civil society organisations welcome the coming debate of Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek and PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on the fuel price increase. This nationally televised debate will provide an opportunity for the public to listen to the pros and cons of the recent price increase which has affected all segments of Malaysian society, especially the poor and lower middle classes.

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sabah For the first time, national rather than Sabah-only parties have shown that they can constitute a credible opposition force in the state, observes G Lim. In putting up a credible performance in Sabah in the last general election, the PKR and, to a lesser extent, the DAP have achieved a remarkable result.

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pak lah cartoon

Khoo Boo Teik looks back at how the people came together to collectively crack the BN’s supposedly shatter-proof hegemony. Analysing the transformed political landscape, he discusses some of the fresh challenges that lie ahead.

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The
Umno-BN hegemony has come to a sudden halt. The 50-year-old political
juggernaut has been severely jolted, its formidable force fragmented, observes Martin Jalleh. The ruling coalition, which had used its brute majority to bully and
bulldoze its way and will in Parliament, blinked when the Opposition
breached its two-thirds majority.

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Following the stunning resurgence of the opposition alignment at the
recent Malaysian general election and with a global recession looming, John Hilley says there is a need for a radical set of policy debates within
the broad opposition to look into how economic policy can be made to serve
people rather than capitalists. And, more critically, how to challenge
the dominant agencies of capitalism which set the terms of economic
and social policy. 

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Judging by the number of election talks held in churches across the country and the enthusiastic response to critical speakers and opposition candidates, it appears likely that Christian voters will swing to the opposition this time, in sharp contrast to 2004. Our special correspondent reports on a lively forum held at the St Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Petaling Jaya during which the BN candidates were heckled and jeered.

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