Aliran Monthly 32: 9 editor’s note

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Ambiga Sreenevasan turned up in Penang to deliver a long-awaited message at a forum organised by Aliran: free and fair elections are important because they bolster democracy and encourage respect for fundamental rights. Anil Netto has the story.

We also reproduce P Ramakrishnan’s address at the same forum. We are the torch-bearers for freedom, he said. It is our duty and responsibility to bring about change. Certainly, democracy has suffered of late. Aliran and Tommy Thomas speak up for human rights Suaram, which has come under official harassment.

The struggle for democracy and justice actually goes back a long way. Garry Rodan reviews a book by Tan Pek Leng on the late M K Rajakumar, who struggled heroically for a just society in the 1960s. In another tribute, the United Nations has honoured the brilliant late scholar activist Khoo Khay Jin with a Malaysian of the Year Award. We reproduce the UN’s citation.

Another inspiring story can be seen in the life and times of the late Brother Charles Levin, the longest-serving Brother Director of St Xavier’s Institution in Penang. His was a total dedication and complete commitment to his calling, says P Ramakrishnan. Meanwhile, K Kesavapany looks at the relevance of Gandhi’s teachings on contemporary society.

Let’s not forget the long-suffering pedestrians of Malaysia who have to heroically endure daily risks when they walk on the streets – which is actually the most eco-friendly mode of travel. Angeline Loh presents a photo-story of their plight. Mustafa K Anuar rounds off this issue with a tongue-in-cheek take of some of the weird things happening in this country.

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Gopal Raj Kumar
15 Nov 2012 2.35pm

Ambiga has not identified a single valid argument for her fight whatever that fight is. What does she refer to as that deficit in Democracy we need to fight to preserve. By her statement she admits that we live in a democracy albeit one with its share of flaws.

But what Ambiga like her cohorts in this so called opposition movement fail to identify this perfect flawless model they preach about which we ought to aspire to if not accept concealed under her belt.

And as for free and fair elections are concerned she appears to fail again by not demanding her colleagues in the opposition who acquired their seats in elections that in her words were “not free or fair” relinquish those seats and abandon the governments they have formed as a result of those same elections that were “not free or fair”..