In our cover story, Francis Loh observes that more and more Malaysians are demanding both development and democracy. The deepening of democracy in Malaysia requires the consolidation of a two-coalition political system.
Towards this end, civil society activists have laid down ten benchmarks for Najib’s next hundred days. Economic reform, they point out, will not work if the political environment suppresses the people’s democratic rights.
Democratisation beckons even in Sarawak, where Muslim Melanau strongmen have held sway for a few decades. As civil society and access to information expands, it could trigger a tsunami big enough to sweep away not only these strongmen but also the entire Sarawak BN, predicts Faisal S Hazis.
But Malaysia is still lagging behind in the introduction of essential laws to uphold the people’s right to information, points out Hamid Ibrahim. Hishamuddin Yahaya takes comfort in the assurance that people power will ultimately win the day. Don’t underestimate their commitment and tenacity, he says. Failure is not an option, insists Zaid Ibrahim. Malaysians, he says, must strive for a new non-racial future for all.
On a lighter note, George Aeria tells us what we must do the next time any of us has to report to the police or MACC.
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