Days of Hope: Real Reforms for 'New' Malaysia
The 14th General Election (GE14) defeat of the Barisan Nasional Coalition, which had ruled the country since 1971 was unprecedented in Malaysian history. The displacement of what seemed an unshakeable BN led regime, is testimony to the determination of the Malaysian people and the persistence of civil society in their decades long struggle against BN rule. The Malaysian people chose to cast their votes for Pakatan Harapan because the coalition had promised in their GE14 manifesto to implement wide ranging reforms that made them seem radically different from the BN. Post-GE14 are days of hope indeed…
With the co-optation of many former BN critics into the new PH government, the independent and critical voice of Kua Kia Soong continues to sound consistently in the so-called ‘new’ Malaysia. He has closely monitored the performance of the new PH government and his analyses and commentaries in these days of hope are essential reading for all Malaysians who yearn for real reforms.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Kua Kia Soong is a director of SUARAM. He was arrested under the Internal Security Act during “Operation Lalang” in 1987 and detained for 445 days without trial. Upon his release in 1989, he helped to found SUARAM (Suara Rakyat Malaysia), the leading human rights organization in Malaysia.
Together with other civil rights activists, he joined the Opposition Front in 1990 and was elected Opposition Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya from 1990 to 1995. He was prisoner of conscience for a second time in 1996 when he spent seven days in prison with other activists for organizing the Second Asia Pacific Conference on East Timor which was disrupted by a mob from the ruling coalition.
He was the Principle of the New Era College, a non-profit tertiary-level institution run by the Chinese education movement (2000-2008); Director of Huazi Research Center set up by the Malaysian Chinese community (1985-90) and Academic Adviser to the Independent Chinese Secondary Schools (1983-85).
Kua received his BA Econ (1975), MA Econ (1976) and PhD in Sociology (1981) from Manchester University, UK. He was a lecturer in sociology at the National University of Singapore in 1978-79.
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