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#Abidinideas

Crestfallen over coat of arms dispute

The ‘unity’ asserted by our motto was a homage to federalism. Today, it also applies to unity across diverse communities in Malaysia. It is ironic then that our coat of arms has become a lightning rod of division.

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Monuments of change

LAST week I argued that improving our institutions should be according to our historical circumstances, laws and the desires of Malaysians, even though lessons should be taken from international best practices.

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Nurturing a common destiny

THE ongoing Black Lives Matter protests around the world have continued to fuel debate and introspection in politics, economics and culture. As a graduate of comparative politics and sociology, the phenomenon is making me revisit the many theories of government, institutional legitimacy and political philosophy that I read at the London School of Economics.

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Costly but precious lessons of Covid-19

Regardless of political affiliation, the majority of Malaysians hope that the success of controlling the coronavirus will replicate in the government’s efforts to repair the economy and improve livelihoods.

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Lives and institutions that matter

Lessons from the US protests and the importance of national institutions in moderating, and taking the lead in addressing tensions and frustrations that citizens feel and wish to express.

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Raya abnormalities

NORMALLY, these corridors would permit young relatives to run, jump, chase each other or play hide and seek. Occasionally they wonder about the portraits on the walls and the trinkets in crammed cabinets: memorabilia of ancestors who once played in the same hallways. This year, the planks stayed uncreaked, sweat-free.

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Federalisation for a stable environment

THE second paper by Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) fellow Tricia Yeoh on federalism is titled “The Political Economy of Federal-State Relations” and makes for concise but fascinating reading on how ministries, agencies and other federal bodies have been established and empowered over and above institutions and mechanisms at the state level: “the politico-bureaucratic complex”.

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Dwelling on destiny

While everyday lives are being disrupted and sacrificed by the majority of Malaysians under the MCO, politicians’ actions seem to have not changed at all – to wield and maintain power, whatever the cost.

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Serve and parley, please

Unwillingness of several state governments to follow the Federal Government’s decision to open up the economic and social sectors perhaps reflects a new political reality.

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Rowing back on Rohingya

LAST week’s article ended on the optimistic note that we in Malaysia are not as afflicted as some other countries, including supposedly advanced democracies, in terms of racism and xenophobia that is hindering a broadly collective effort to defeat Covid-19.

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Hold fast to beat Covid-19

THE beginning of Ramadan normally brings about a sense of unity on many levels, as Muslims embark on a month of fasting, abstinence and reflection.

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Continued adaptation a new normal

AS the notion of a “new normal” percolates further into public consciousness, changes which a few weeks ago would have been unthinkable are being anticipated and embraced. I am not referring to the widely circulated list of alleged political appointments to government-linked companies and statutory bodies: though is that really a change, a reversion to type or a perpetuation of what has always been?

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