IT may seem odd that the institution of the Malay Rulers, whose origins can be traced back to the early 15th century, is today the most progressive voice. At the other end of the spectrum are our politicians, who often fumble and stumble, or worse, stay silent when their opinions are most needed.
The senior Sultans have instead, always spoken up and on many occasions, even reminded religious figures that Malaysia is a multi-ethnic country, and that diversity must not just be respected but embraced.
Wong Chun Wai began his career as a journalist in Penang, and has served The Star for over 35 years in various capacities and roles. He is now group editorial and corporate affairs adviser to the group, after having served as group managing director/chief executive officer. On The Beat made its debut on Feb 23 1997 and Chun Wai has penned the column weekly without a break, except for the occasional press holiday when the paper was not published. In May 2011, a compilation of selected articles of On The Beat was published as a book and launched in conjunction with his 50th birthday. Chun Wai also comments on current issues in The Star.