In the lead story, Khoo Boo Teik comments on how Umno got lost on the way to 2020. If the goal is 100 per cent national unity, the Umno of 2006 has taken us 30 per cent forward, 70 per cent backward. As we prepare to celebrate 50 years of Merdeka, we must look elsewhere for a better, kinder and fairer idea of progress.
In this regard, P Ramakrishnan speaks to all Malaysians in the back cover story. As ethnic relations worsen, he calls upon the silent majority to wake up.
We carry three stories to remind us of Human Rights Day (10 December). Rani Rasiah documents the demolition of Kg. Berembang in Kuala Lumpur and how the urban pioneers fought back. Jennifer Mourin focuses on the decision of the government to lift the ban on the use of paraquat — “one of the most highly toxic herbicides to be marketed”. This policy reversal invariably will endanger the lives of our plantation workers. Mary Magdalen reminds us of the plight of our Orang Asal. She proposes that we move quickly to develop a special curriculum to cater to their special education needs.
Finally, read our centre pages which tell of the Freedom Film Fest 2006 which was like a breath of fresh air into the humdrum of everyday living Penang.
Blessings and Peace for 2007.
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