Commentary / World May 25, 2001

Racial quotas widen social gaps, not rectify them

SINGAPORE -- When some 600 ethnic Chinese students who passed a string of examinations with distinction failed to gain admission to public universities in Malaysia recently, a controversy erupted in the media over a major flaw in university entrance criteria. Whatever explanations the authorities dished ...

Commentary / World May 11, 2001

Draconian arrests boost Malaysian opposition's message of change

PENANG, Malaysia -- A second-echelon leadership has emerged within Malaysia's prominent opposition party, Keadilan, to pursue its fight for justice after eight top party leaders were detained by police. Composed of young educated people, the second-tier leaders of the National Justice Party, or Keadilan, are ...

Commentary / World Mar 16, 2001

Failed experiment haunts Jakarta

SINGAPORE -- As Indonesia assesses the carnage from the recent ethnic violence in its province of Kalimantan, a poignant legacy of the failure of its transmigration policy slowly but surely emerges. A lesson from the fiasco is that when implementing purely economic policies or directives, ...

Commentary / World Nov 24, 2000

Ethnic Chinese see school plan as ploy to erode their identity

SINGAPORE -- Chinese education authorities in multiracial Malaysia have rejected a government pilot project to merge the country's three different kinds of vernacular schools -- Malay, Chinese and Tamil -- into a single national institution, dubbed "Vision Schools," that would embody Malaysian identity. The ethnic ...

Commentary / World Oct 6, 2000

Singapore media monopolies break into rival's turf

SINGAPORE -- Competition in Singapore's expanding media industry is growing more intense as the two rival main players prepare to slug it out, having pumped in millions of dollars to upgrade existing projects and invest in new ones. While media giants Singapore Press Holdings and ...

Commentary / World Aug 25, 2000

Wahid battered but still kicking

SINGAPORE -- The threat of impeachment from angry legislators stared Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid grimly in the face on Aug 7., when the 695-member People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) convened in Jakarta to review Indonesia's progress. Members of the country's highest policymaking chamber were unhappy with ...

Commentary / World May 19, 2000

Populist bloc sends UMNO strong message

KUALA LUMPUR-- Delegates to the recently-concluded triennial elections of Malaysia's top political party have voted according to their conscience, sending a strong signal to party president, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, that they prefer their leaders who can reach out to the grassroots of the ...