Aliran Monthly 31: 5 editor’s note

In our cover story, 2Khoo looks at the big debate about migration and the brain drain. We suffer the worst of both worlds: at the low end, we have plenty of low-skilled workers despite official policy to reduce the number; and at the high end, we are unable to retain our own highly qualified people nor attract those from foreign sources.

Another migration hot potato involves the Australia-Malaysia refugees-for-asylum seekers swap deal. These vulnerable people are being treated like commodities that can be bartered, writes Angeline Loh.

Next comes a series of articles on the clamour for democracy in the Arab world, which has inspired many around the world. Even Singaporeans seem to have caught the democracy ‘fever’. K Kesavapany believes that the Singapore general election result suggests that GDP growth alone is not enough; many Singaporeans want a more inclusive set of indices to monitor wealth distribution. Over in Pahang, a lack of democratic decision-making process was evident in determining the site of a controversial rare earth refinery in Gebeng. Our centrefold features key statements about the public opposition to this Australian plant.

We also need to reclaim our history! Andrew Aeria writes about a new Campaign for a Truly Malaysian History. History taught in schools should be a people’s history which is people centred, not elite focused.

Finally, P Ramakrishnan and Mustafa K Anuar take aim at the ‘lunatic fringe” in Malaysia who are threatening to undermine ethnic relations and incite hatred with their extremist views and racial chauvinism.

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