In our cover story, P Ramakrishnan provides a litany of gross mismanagement and glaring corruption in government spending. The money squandered could have been used to relieve poverty and empower the marginalised. Does the BN deserve to remain in power? A change of government would mean prudent spending, better governance and an end to repressive laws.
Now there are quiet plans to build expensive nuclear power plants. That has prompted a string of civil society groups from across the region to call on the government to stop its nuclear power development plans.
One reader writes in to say the BN may be following the way of the dinosaurs. If the coalition is seen to be obsolete and irrelevant, it will not be the fault of the opposition or the rakyat, she says. Another reader sent in an article expressing dismay about the performance of the Education Ministry. The education system needs to be revamped – but this has to be done by reputable academicians and not by politicians, she insists.
No wonder the BN is worried. It appears incapable of reform. Far from ushering in greater democracy as the PM pledged, the government seems to be moving in the opposite direction, by passing the so-called Peaceful Assembly Bill in Parliament. Contrary to its name, the Bill restricts further whatever public space there is left for dissent and assembly, observes Christopher Chong.
Finally, we look at the immense political and cultural legacy of two giants from the Indian subcontinent, Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore.