Happy Merdeka! It is a wonderful feeling to celebrate Merdeka 2018 after GE14, which saw the end of 60 years of Umno-BN rule.
Developments over the past 100 days of Pakatan Harapan rule have given us hope that we are on the march towards not just a more developed Malaysia, but one that upholds freedom, justice and solidarity.
It is therefore proper that Aliran has just published a comprehensive and important book entitled Regime Change in Malaysia: 60 Years of UMNO-BN Rule End, edited by Francis Loh and Anil Netto (Petaling Jaya: SIRD and Aliran, 2018).
A soft launch of the new book will be held at the Aliran 41st anniversary dinner on 8 September 2018 at the Majestic Theatre, Penang. If you have not got your invitation card (via a donation) to attend this fundraising dinner, please contact the Aliran office in Penang immediately. Phone Aliran at 04-658 5251 (office hours, Tuesday to Saturday) or Evelyn at 016-4811963.
The launch proper of the book will be held in Petaling Jaya on 22 Sept 2018 at Gerakbudaya, 2 Jalan Bukit 11/2, 46200 Petaling Jaya at 2.30 (until 5.00pm). There is no charge and all are cordially invited to this event in PJ.
This book is a collection of 40-plus essays by some 30 Malaysians about the 2018 general election. It is a record of an unprecedented defeat of the Umno-BN government, in power since 1957, and its replacement by a newly formed coalition, Pakatan Harapan. These essays discuss the major election issues, the principal actors, the campaign, the results and where we might be headed in the next decade.
Regardless of the specifics, the election has ushered in Regime Change. We are witnessing change that goes beyond the displacement of one government by another as occurs when a different party takes over in western liberal democracies.
Regime Change is more than that in at least three aspects: first, there are changes in the make-up of the socio-economic alliance that is backing up the new government; second, we see changes in the major political institutions, as in the whittling down of the humongous Prime Minister’s Department and impending reform of some others like the MACC, the SPR and the civil service, and in the replacement of self-serving, inefficient top personnel; and third, the adoption of new policies in public transport, education, labour issues and welfare concerns or disaster management – which are hopefully more pro-people and less wasteful of resources compared to previous policies.
However, there are limits to how far these changes will go. For regime change is different from systemic change as when the military regime under Suharto gets replaced by reformasi in Indonesia; or when the People Power revolution displaced Marcos’ martial law regime. It is apparent that Malaysia still has some way to go in carrying out reforms and in deepening its democracy.
The 30-odd authors involved in this book include some of Malaysia’s most respected scholar-activists who engage in writing popular essays apart from their usual academic writing. A second group are non-academicians who are nonetheless keen observers of political goings-on in Malaysia. Often attached to civil society organisations like Aliran, they have honed their skills and written important reports and reflections. We have more than our share of such people in Aliran. A third group are the youth aspiring to be tomorrow’s public intellectuals, whether they anchor themselves in academia or in some civil society organisation, in this case Aliran.
Here is the Table of Contents of this important book.
INTRODUCTION: Regime change and all that Francis Loh
PART 1: THE ISSUES
1 Vote for Institutional reform; save the country Aliran Exco
2 Bersih 2.0 and GE14 Toh Kin Woon
3 GST: Critical issues that led to BN’s downfall Anil Netto
4 The black hole of 1MDB: Early signs of trouble Anil Netto
5 BRI and increased Chinese investments in Malaysia Francis Loh
6 Humongous PM’s Department Francis Loh
7 The FELDA factor in GE14 Johan Saravanamuttu
8 Democracy, autocracy, kleptocracy K Haridas
9 SPR, ROS and the judiciary: three institutions that lost their way P Ramakrishnan
PART II: MAJOR ACTORS
10 The Citizens’ Declaration: a ‘game changer’? Francis Loh
11 Dr Mahathir dissects kleptocracy Khoo Boo Teik
12 Once Mahathir, always Mahathir Khoo Boo Teik
13 The last stand of Mahathir Mohamad Khoo Boo Teik
14 The ever-present Anwar Ibrahim Khoo Boo Teik
15 From Kaum Ibu to Kaum Reformasi Zeenath Kausar
16 Wan Azizah – the other doctor in the house Khoo Boo Teik
17 The youth will set us free Francis Loh
18 Rafizi, Fahmi and ZUNAR: three who gave us hope for change Benedict Lopez
19 Karpal and Kit Siang – two colossi GK Ganesan Kasinathan
20 PSM stakes a political space at GE14 Mustafa K Anuar
21 Whither BN? The future lies in inclusive politics K Haridas
22 UMNO and MCA’s credibility deficit erodes public support VP Mohan
PART III: THE CAMPAIGN
23 Will Pakatan Harapan win the general election? Subramaniam Pillay
24 Why Dr Mahathir? Francis Loh
25 Critical issues not debated in GE14 campaign Mary Chin
26 Seven obstacles opposition had to overcome to capture Putrajaya Anil Netto
27 The dawning of a new Malaysia: the role of civil society Chris Chong
28 (Re)building a new ethos in a post-GE14 plural Malaysia Soon Chuan Yean
29 The green wave of PAS on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia Azmil Tayeb
30 The mood for change among Chinese voters Por Heong Hong
31 Malaysia’s problematic media: before and beyond GE14 Zaharom Nain
32 Rakyat’s victory vindicates decades-long struggle Henry Loh
PART IV: INTERPRETING THE ELECTORAL RESULTS
33 GE14: the political earthquake that ended BN’s 60-year rule Faisal Hazis
34 Power to the people Aliran Exco
35 Still a long way to go: GE14, women and political representation tan beng hui, Maznah Mohamad, Cecilia Ng
36 Dynamics of Chinese votes in Sarawak in GE14 Ngu Ik Tien
37 A closer look at the Malay tsunami Jeyakumar Devaraj
PART V: TOWARDS A NEW MALAYSIA
38 New Malaysia banishes ghost of May 13 JD Lovrenciear
39 After the plunder: BN’s shattered credibility Dominic Damian
40 Decentralise federalism in Malaysia Francis Loh
41 Is an Islamic state on the cards after GE14? Ahmad Fauzi
42 Is Malaysia ready to lower its voting age? Haris Zuan
43 Race, identity and belonging in Malaysia Cheah Wui Jia
44 Creating the change Prema Devaraj
The editors of the book are:
Francis Loh, a former professor of politics at Universiti Sains Malaysia and former president of Aliran; and
Anil Netto, a former corporate finance head and external auditor, is treasurer of Aliran and webmaster of the Aliran website aliran.com
The book is now available in all major book shops. If you cannot get a copy from the bookshops, you may purchase it from Gerakbudaya (or drop by at the Aliran office in Penang next week).
Our contact details are:
Aliran, 103 Medan Penaga, 11200 Jelutong, Penang Tel: 04 6585251; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gerakbudaya, 2 Jalan Bukit11/2, 46200 Petaling Jaya. Tel: 03 79578342; email: email@example.com
GET YOUR COPY TODAY.
Co-editor, Aliran newsletter
1 September 2018