Aliran Monthly 31: 2 editor’s note

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In our cover story, Kua Kia Soong shines a spotlight into the murky world of arms spending in Malaysia, a subject rarely discussed in the country. The recent release of a book by him questioning the way public funds are used in arms procurement is most enlightening.

We also carry a series of pieces on the pro-democracy uprising in the Arab world from the spark that triggered it off to the implications of these momentous and ongoing revolutions. Farish Noor points out how the mainstream media have adopted divergent positions when it comes to reporting on the anti-Mubarak protests in Malaysia. Mustafa K Anuar says peace-loving people everywhere and their governments should come forward to stem the tide of Gaddafi’s brutality towards his own people. Philip Khoo, for his part, looks at Egypt, Tunisia and Malaysia and makes a quick comparison of their similarities and differences.

On the local front, the passing of the Penan leader Along Sega, a little-known but no less towering Malaysian deserves our attention. Our centrepages carry an interview explaining what his struggle for the Penan was all about. Another towering leader is veteran opposition politician Lim Kit Siang, who recently celebrated his 70th birthday. P Ramakrishnan and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah pay tribute. Of special interest is an editorial by Kit Siang when he was in Form Three.

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While we honour those in the forefront struggling for democracy, Angeline Loh exhorts us to see the often hidden-from-view domestic workers as human beings and not commodities. Finally, we look at what a certain Rais Yatim had to say about political corruption more than a dozen years ago.

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