Aliran Monthly 32: 5 editor’s note

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In our cover story, Mustafa K Anuar argues that civilised and uncivilised behaviour defies labelling western or eastern; in fact such behaviour whether positive or negative cuts across national boundaries. If, as some argue, demonstrations are ‘western culture’, does that mean that butt exercises are ‘eastern culture’?

At a time when some of us might bemoan and feel helpless in the face of an oppressive political culture, Dave Anthony says we should take heart at the emergence of a string of valiant women who have given our society a fresh ray of hope.

K Haridas then looks at Najib’s ‘1Malaysia’ slogan and wonders how different it is from Mahathir’s ‘Wawasan 2020’ and Badawi’s ‘Islam hadhari’ buzz-words. Can we really trust the premier’s reform pledge?

For workers, the future offers little cause for optimism. In the first of a two-part article, Charles Hector examines how a pro-business government has led to a steady weakening of workers’ rights and their welfare and livelihood.

Meanwhile, Benny Teh reviews a book by Johan Saravanamuttu that takes a look at the various phases in the first 50 years of Malaysian foreign policy.

Finally, Tommy Thomas wonders if the Security Offences Bill is constitutional. The much inferior treatment of an accused when prosecuted under the Bill violates the fundamental right to equality, he points out.

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