Aliran Monthly 28: 8 editor’s note

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am coverIn our cover story, Anil Netto takes a close look at the ongoing candlelights vigils where ordinary rakyat have been coming out to express their desire for justice and reforms. The vigil on 9 November was broken up by police and 23 people were arrested. But that is unlikely to deter others from persisting with the vigils.

The horrors of the past should spur us on in the struggle. Johan Saravanamuttu  revisits Operation Lalang and gives us a bit of the background to the mass ISA crackdown in 1987. One of the 106 detainees then, Lim Chin Chin, shares her ordeal during her detention.

We also carry a nine-page spread on the legendary Singapore freedom fighter J B Jeyaretnam, whose passing is a huge loss for the struggle for justice and freedom in this region. Tributes by Chee Soon Juan, Sinapan Samydorai and Philip Jeyaretnam recall his spirit and will inspire a new generation to continue with the struggle.  

The struggle for justice is closely tied to aspirations for an independent judiciary. Ambiga Sreenevasan says it may be 20 years since the judicial crisis of 1988 but it is never too late for right to be done and for the truth about that crisis to be told.

K Haridas
stresses that if our politicians’ goal is to ensure justice for all, they must use their power to ensure that this objective is met. But, as Angeline Loh reminds us, justice must be made available not only to all Malaysians but also to migrant workers and refugees. Similarly, Yogeswaran Subramaniam urges us to discard our “charity” attitude towards indigenous peoples and grant them real social justice and equality.

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On a different note, Gwynn Jenkin urges planners in George Town to preserve the inner city community life, which is the soul of the city.

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