About me

About me

In “my previous life”, I trained and worked as a chartered accountant and external auditor in England before returning to Malaysia to be immersed in corporate life.

Well, you know what they say about accountants being boring! Before long, I found myself drawn to journalism and writing about human rights and socio-economic justice issues. I have always believed that we can build a more just and compassionate world.

These days I am on the editorial board of Aliran, senior writer for Asia Times Online, and columnist for The Herald – and I write, edit and publish for this website. Previously, I was the Malaysia correspondent for Inter Press Service, an international news agency focusing on developing countries.

For this website, I am grateful for the contributions of a team of volunteer ‘citizen journalists’ such as tunglang (who discusses heritage issues), Sam (local issues), Michael (urban settlers and the environment), and a string of other public-spirited contributors whose views and writings are featured on this site.

Inspiration isn’t always at hand, though – so grab yourself a cup of coffee and come share your thoughts with me.

An interview with BFM radio about citizen journalism:

What I believe

Support my work

74 COMMENTS

  1. “I Need A Mountain Spring”

    I need to find a mountain spring
    That man has never seen or touch,
    That only deer come to drink
    And birds and squirrels can vouch.

    To have it bordered by plants
    And small pools for peacock fish
    To swim and play stunts
    Reflecting its scaly rainbow flash.

    And by its side monkey cups abound
    Collecting dewy drops of rain
    The agile monkeys life line bond
    That is part of the mountain terrain.

    I need a mountain spring
    Unspoiled by human hands,
    Its pure water, unwashed, unringed,
    Left to wash only its bottom sands.

    I need a mountain refreshed
    By the sweet songs of birds calling
    For their mates to build their nest
    Amidst butterflies fleeting.

    I do not need artificial springs
    That sound un-operatic
    Infiltrate our private space, bring
    To our ear, music chaotic.

    I do not need a concrete jungle
    Where hills and mountains vanished.
    No trees and branches jangle,
    But cement, plastic and steel finish.

    Give me a mountain spring
    Pure and unsullied to dream
    Before the rising of the sun
    And lay down before the moon beam.

    That is my last wish for myself,
    And for others who love this earth,
    That come what may, the shelf
    Of life will continue to have hope and rebirth.

    By Khoo Soo Hay

    Dear Anil,
    Sorry a bit late in replying, as I am not that familiar with the procedure, compute-wise.
    Hope you can use it.

    Rgds.,

    Khoo Soo Hay

     
  2. Dear Anil,
    I have been receiving and reading your website for sometime and also gave comments.
    Now I want to contribute a new poem which I wrote yesterday morning. Can you give me your other email address that I can write and attach the poem, entitled “I Need A Mountain Spring”.? It is about environment and if you see fit, you can add it to your website for your readers to enjoy.

    Rgds.,

    Khoo Soo Hay

     
  3. Hi Anil,
    Since the time I discovered your website just before GE13, I’ve been folowing the issues you’ve been highlighting almost on a daily basis. Your insights on citizen journalism over BFM89.9 was most interesting indeed. I think it would not be far off the mark to say that it’s caring and responsible people like you that give us a balanced perspective on important issues that matter to us all. Thanks and keep up the good work.

     
  4. Hi Anil, I have only recently learnt about you and your work inspires me. Tell me something, with so many Malaysians choosing to run away via immigration or even pressured to stay overseas after their education, work stint, etc – you choose to return after setting yourself overseas. Please do tell your story.

     
    • Thanks Vijay. Not much of a story, really. Malaysia was always home to me. I am fond of the place and believe in its people, even if some of the politicians can sometimes be frustrating. It has so much potential. So I came back to do my little bit.

       
  5. Hi Anil,
    I have a friend who is a Malaysian citizen and have never voted before because of his
    frustration with the Government and have migrated to Singapore as a Permanent Resident
    just like me. IN our discussion I told him that the first time I went for voting was in 2008 where
    I voted for DAP in Bukit Bendara and am now proud to say that I have voted for change for
    the right party and ask him to look at how Penang is being managed now.
    He agreed to have his name registered with the Election Commission and as such wonder
    you can do utmost to have him registered by e-registering with the Commission as I am not
    familiar with Bahasa Malaysia. Am giving his name and info as follows and hope you can do
    the neccessary arrangement for registering or recommend me some one from DAP Penang
    to do the arrangements:
    (personal details removed)

     
  6. Dear Sir,

    Need to get in touch with Mr. Malik Imtiaz Sarwar for urgent legal advise for my brother.
    Please give contact ASAP.
    Thank you & Best Regards
    RNg

     
  7. Anil

    My husband received the below email from a friend living in California:

    “This is the news that we should share with people, I like the Sikhs of this town and i feel being in a remote location, they have shown what humanity is all about, not religion, not caste nor colors

    Hope this type of news spreads faster than a bushfire in California

    http://m.timesofindia.com/india/It-was-pouring-so-Sikhs-invite-Muslims-to-offer-namaaz-in-gurdwara/articleshow/15600144.cms“.

    We hope this type of news will spread faster than a bushfire in MALAYSIA and as we celebrate yet another year of Merdeka, that this humanity (not religion, caste nor colour) will prevail amongst us.

    Ella2

     
  8. Hello,

    I recently published an article in English “Divide and rule in the land of gold” (http://fraukedecoodt.org/2012/07/23/divide-and-rule/ ) and in Spanish (http://fraukedecoodt.org/2012/07/15/dividir-y-vencer/ ).
    I don’t know how comes but if you google my name and the words divide and rule most of the links direct to your page, without any trace of my article or whatsoever to me on your page. Is this something in your power to change?

    Kind regards,
    Frauke

     
    • Dear Franke

      I think it is because I have an RSS feed to my blog of the latest 10 articles from zcommunications.org (on which your article appeared). So your article on http://www.zcommunications.org/divide-and-rule-in-the-land-of-gold-by-frauke-decoodt must have appeared as a link to my blog (under the heading ‘Global’) via the RSS feed. Now that this article is no longer in the 10 latest articles on zcommunications, it has probably dropped off the latest 10 items, so that is why the link is no longer on my blog.

      I imagine my blog will eventually disappear from the Google Search results now that the link has dropped off from my blog. Give it a few days, and try again to see if it is still there.

      Kind regards

       
  9. Dear Anil,

    Has always been following your lead and contribution to ensuring Penang’s greens are maintained.

    Hope you can get involve and spearhead a recent call from residence,clubs and general public on the EXCEPTION given to build on the GREEN hills of Sg ARA. 80 acres of green hills with all its jogging tracks will be gone. Just amazing how an area which is supposed to be above the sea level height limits for building gets approval in 6 months.

    There is a major gathering from the residence around tomorrow 8/4/12 at Sunrise condominium, Changkat Kenari , 10.30 am. CAP Pg and press will be there, hopefully Anil to to help support this cause…..

     
  10. Simplicity it is Anil. Your work has done well to let others know of Bujang Valley, Kingdom Lost & Found. We lost history along the way, and we found your website! Thank you, Brother.

     
  11. Hi Anil,

    Could I get u a cuppa?
    I am with BJCC and right in the midst of the embroilment with club proprietors. This club was Chong Eu’s contribution to Penang and with the outsourcing of her management, BJCC is being invaded by some Japanese intriquing and ill-gotten minds. Same Jap company took down Kajang Hills in Selangor and blew several members there to oblivion.
    I’d like to share my (and I do represent a few hundred members) take on the brewing issues at the club, all in the hope of perserving Penang’s heritage and more closer to my own beliefs, human rights and values.

     
  12. Gee Mr Anil, you miss ONE major religion in your top bar sub-menu!
    I thought your website was well done… Buddhism is the missing word my friend..it should be top of the list??? (alphabetically or by popularity)
    Good luck. Your site has potential to be well-known.

     
  13. Hello Anil

    I’m from GoodHire, that works with entrepreneurial talents from socially underprivileged background to promote quality range of products & services to potential buyers and employers. GoodHire’s building a social change movement with market and job-based solutions. For the first time ever, diverse organizations that work with struggling single parents, underprivileged youths, blind entrepreneurs, the physically and intellectually challenged, etc join for the common vision.

    Far from public stereotype that they depend on goodwill to secure work, they are inspiring small biz owners, micro entrepreneurs, some adopt profit-sharing biz model and recruit more socially underprivileged individuals. GoodHire’s currently doing pilot in KL and Selangor, I’m writing this email to inform you about the opportunity to buy and hire for social change and also inquire about your consideration to promote this project. I’ll be glad to discuss more with you if you’re interested, please feel free to ask for more info and you can also visit us at good-hire.org.

    Thank you

    Regards,
    Jude

     
  14. Dear Anil,

    Have you heard of the the 100 odd squatter Indian families on about 25 acres of land on the fringe of the Sime-darby owned KLGC? They were promised housing some 30 years ago When Tun Razak was the PM, but to date that is still an empty promise.
    The latest we hear is that Sime Darby wants the land they live on to punch a road through for the benefit of a new phase of luxury housing development by Sime Darby on land once promised as the green lung of KL , and these squatters will still not get their legally owned houses. If you claim to be concerned for socio economic justice, please look into this.

    I am only a concerned citizen with no relationship to the squatters but I hate injustice as it breeds evil and great discontent.

     
  15. Hi Anil,
    A friend told me about your blog. It’s quite a reading actually. I have sent a comment under “education” pertaining to some issues in a national school in Butterworth. The issue of Diwali Card prompted me to write to you cause it happened in my friend’s school and I am aware of all these religion mambo jambo brought in by the so called Agama teachers and UMNO pro teachers (some of whom) are extremist, fanatics and racists, slowly invading into our national schools and polluting the innocent minds in school. Please do read my post and respond.

     
  16. Hi Anil,

    I’m an ex-Malaysian of Chinese origin, living overseas. I have to thank the Malaysian ruling government for depriving me of opportunities to advance in my life and career. Their lost is a tremendous gain for me. I share your thoughts and I still love the country, where I was born and look forward to the day when their immigration policies allow dual citizenship and I will be applying for it so that I can go back and contribute (with my experiences) to the country’s advancement for the future generations to come. Hope it’s not too late as age is catching up with me and I cannot live forever.

     
  17. We must commend you on your courage to publish an invitation to a contrarian opinion as is expressed in our blog.

    We are not everyone’s cupaa but we do what we do from a perspective that’s not commonplace nor the product of street gossip. We produce fact which we are able to substantiate when the blow torch is put t our own bellies.

    We stand open to scrutiny, we challenge anyone displeased with what we write to sue us on the facts we base our stories on. Speculation is for others.

    Anyway this is about you. And we admire your courage in being perhaps about the only relevant Malaysian blog with the ability to practice what they preach. Free speech. None of the others who are fast becoming mainstream by their attitudes dare to publish unless what we say is what they say. regurgitation.

    We salute you for being different Anil Netto. Good work Anil.

    http://takemon.wordpress.com/

    Gopal Raj Kumar

     
  18. Do you expect me to take you seriously with your bozo portrait? You certainly reminded me of Bugs Bunny…You could easily passed off as a road sweeper, infact! Jeez.. If you want us to read your blog, you need not only sound serious, you must project an intellectual image as well, not as under worked, overpaid Indian laborer tending to a plot of land…Pathetic…

     
    • Mind telling me how to get an intellectual image? :)

      Anyway, nothing wrong looking or sounding like a road-sweeper or labourer (certainly am not overpaid, though!)

       
  19. Hey Anil

    Your new look website is more appealing than the one you previously had. However the content could do with some improvement.

    Government bashing for th sake of being different or contrarian does not score any points nor does it enlighten anyone. It isn’t helpful either. There are just too many people doing it which bores to the pores and is sickening.

    You are clearly a man with an education (or academic orientation …..whichever) and can bring a lot to bear on Malaysia’s youth and perhaps even its ageing population. But that needs keeping away from the flies, RPK and the rest. There is only the best then all the rest.

    Malaysia needs people who are able to think indepedently and to pick those subjects for discussion that are worthy of discussion and not simply provocative gossip like your contemporaries at the Nutgraph and Malaysia Kini.

    Put on some more thoughtful stuff. If you write for Aliran you must have something of substance to put here too. Provocative and thoughtful insightful and subtantive.

    Look forward to more creative and enlightening pieces. I like the feeds to the Singapore General Elections. Thats original.

    Cheers

    Gopal

     
  20. God your’e blooody ugly and your blog stupid. Good thing I did not step on it. How did you become an accountant? no analytical capabilities. Simply broadbrush and banal statements about what you agree and disagree with. Are you gay with that straw hat gay people love to use?

     
  21. Anil,FYI, alot of people in Penang are having the thought and impression that KSK and Teng Hock Nam (are allegedly) deceiving the Prime Minister AAB when they invited him to officiate and launch the PGCC project back in September 2007 at Bukit Jambul Hotel.

    In actual TRUTH & FACT OF THE MATTER is even the PRIME MINISTER OF MALAYSIA ABDULLAH AHMAD BADAWI already knows that the PGCC project is not approved by the Penang State Government yet at that material time and YET our Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi came to LAUNCH IT.!!!!

    I was at the Offcicial PGCC launching at that time attended by the Penang State District Officer,KKK,Patrick Lim,Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, etc etc…

    After the Pep talk by Patrick Lim and KSK on the wonders of the project etc Pak Lah was invited to say a few words and to officially launch the project PGCC.To my HORROR….the first sentence that came out from our Prime Minister made my jaws drop wide open and I said to myself Huh…????.

    Quote & PM AAB, said and admited to the audience that ‘ HE WAS FORCED TO COME TO OFFICIATE THE LAUNCHING BY PATRICK LIM ” What the heck.!!!!?????

    How can a PM say that, slip of the tounge maybe..? I was thinking who is Patrick Lim so strong and powerful that he can force a PM to attend and to officiate and launch an UNAPPROVED PROJECT…???? Until today I am wondering who is actually pulling the strings behind the drama..?

    This is the openning sentence and worst to come is the ending sentence from PM AAB speech at the launching I practically fell of my chairs so to speak after hearing PM AAB last sentence on this PGCC project during the closing of his speech.

    PM AAB, made an appeal to the State and Land Office to quick approved the processing and application of the project papers and requested all parties involved to cooperate and to make the approval run smoothly and as soon as possible.

    This shows and proof that our PM AAB, already knows before hand that this PGCC project is NOT APPROVED AT THAT MATERRIAL TIME, yet he is there to officially launch the project and to appeal to Penang State Government and all parties to expediate the approval asap.

    This makes me wonder..?
    PM AAB has prior knowledge that PGCC project is not approved yet he is willing to come to officially launch this particular project and appeal on behalf of Patrick Lim to the Penang State Government and Penang State Land Office and all relavant govt agencies to quickly expediate PGCC’s approval…!!!!

    This make one wonder why is PM AAB so incline and supporting this project even though the population is against it.!!!

    What is the interest…?????

    Unfortunately for Patrick Lim & company, and God having his ways..the tables were suddenly turned on elaction day and Penang State became an opposition State Government.

    And the truth comes out and still more will come out …

    Let’s wait till the end of the PRC & PGCC drama to unfold and come to it’s end.Then all will see the truth,who cheated the Penang State & it’s people and they must pay for it..!!! God is greated than (them)… Peoples of Penang will not be run over by Federal people … and be deceived anymore.

    People Of Penang must bring those involved to Justice…!!!

     
    • Look up this book called “The Mutiara Masterplan” . It’s is an architecture publication for this PGCC competition from its conception till eventual winner selection.
      Although the content might have been nicely elaborated, at least you get to see the details of Patrick Lim & parties who were involved in it.

       
  22. anil,

    every blogs in yesterday news call for the donation,with out accounts number for rpk cause.

    Its for such a intelligent people like you and blogs owner not prepared in proper accounts to be channel to defend someone.

    This rpk case is a text case.THe goverment is testing the blogs water and this sucessfull,u,me and the bloggers are looking for trouble.

    Call your blogs gang to set up a trust fund and make sure every blogs put a banner of the bank name,accounts number and the person name.(ITS SHOULD BE ONE ACCOUNT)

    THIS FUND CAN BE USE TO DEFEND WHOEVER BLOGS and bloggers.DONT OVERLOOK THIS MATTER.

    rAJ RAMAN.WASTED HALF A DAY TO VERIFY WHETHER THE ACCOUNTS TO DONATE IS GENUINE OR NOT.

     
  23. hi..finally i found ur blog..i also read ur articles on aliran,coz one of my profesor also there…

    may i ask u to be my fellow…coz i am like to write an article/journal but i dont know how to start with..so i hope u can give me some advise aobut it..

    TQ

     
  24. Hi Anil

    Great stuff. Enjoy the writing. Stumbled on to your blog and now it’s become a regular on my ‘must read’ list.

    How do I send you articles that may be of interest and could be posted on your blog?

    “Discard the ‘noise’ of religion and return to the beginning, to the simplicity of the Greatest Commandment – Mark 12: 28-34”

    God Bless

     
  25. Hi Anil,

    I am Aloysiu from B’worth. Just dropping a note to say Hi! and How have you been? I am sure you are looking forward for a better Penang now, after this election. Been reading some of the stuffs you have been writing – very enlightening. Keep writing and let the words flow. By the way I find it easier to access your blog this time around compared to before. Anyway just wanna keep in touch and Blessed Easter to you. I am still in India – and following up the happenings at home via Malaysia Today and Malaysia Kini. Meanwhile you take care and God Bless. Will see you when I see you next. Cheers!

     
  26. Hi Mr Anil,
    Its great to come across your blog. Your writings do inspire me as a reader. Pls do write about Sarawak & Sabah, because being living & working far away, we need to know whats happening back home. BTW we are in Johor, working. Today, in one of the mainstream media based in Sarawak, we learned that one of the BN ybs were rumoured to have left his party for being not appointed as a minister after 20 years the parliament.
    Ok lah,Mr Anil, keep up the good work. God bless you.

     
  27. Anil

    When will all the world press stop printing this as tho it is the WHOLE truth? I thought they would have picked up earlier debates over the statistics re GLC’s portion and ASLI research. Surely all these should not be important now after the tsunami esp when M’sia starts lagging behind some of the neighbouing countries in competitiveness?

    ” Ethnic Chinese are 25 per cent of the population but dominate
    Malaysia’s business. Malays make up about 60 per cent of Malaysia’s 27 million
    people”

     
  28. Hi Anil,

    It is Chee Keong. I got in touch with you a few years back but lost contact after that. Accidentally found your blog while reading about the Malaysian election. I hope you remember me.

    Hope to get a reply from you soon.

     
  29. Hi how are sir anil? The first time i saw in the good sherperd simminari 13 year ago, i have been ur fan in herald sure to see ur article on different topic all about malaysia issuses for the welfare of other it great yah…. i will alway pray for ur well being ,May the almighty god be on ur side..10q keep on writing ..gob bless

    jxc

     
  30. Hi Anil,

    I have been reading your write-up in Herald and its so good and true…. and now that i have found this page of urs and while i read it – i must say u r the word – the living christ word ….

    I hope to hear more form you both in here and in Herald. Simply love all your articles.

     
  31. Hi Anil
    I have been lately reading alot about what is happening to the Malaysian Indians by the political powers in Malaysia. I am extremely saddened as a malaysian Indian living in Canada. Over the years I had always knowledged that the Malaysian Indians were not treated fairly and 20 years ago that was the reason I left. Now it seems they are treated as third class citizens after all our past parents and parents before them had given with their lifes to the country
    This is very clear that education is important unlike (certain) Bumiputra politicans who show disrespect to others and still preach religion to their ego
    The Indian politican SV (sold out on) the Indians …the Maika case… should alone be prove in what he did.
    Even thou I do not know you but accidently came accross your blog, like to say good work my friend
    PR

     
  32. Anil, I never miss your articles in the Herald(excellent) and tell many family and friends to read it.

    Showed the Herald letter of Bishop Paul Tan’s criticism of the temple demolitions to a Hindu friend. He thanks the church for the support.

    Keep up the good work.

    We need more christians to spread the message of liberation of mind and body from the shackles of oppressive organizations/governments as Our Lord Jesus Christ did.

     
  33. Hi there Mr.Anil , greetings to you from Martin and Janet….

    We have not met BUT i ‘knew’ you since my early days of reading Aliran and later Herald. Your last write-up in Herald titled ‘Darkness in Malaysia” is highly commendable where you have written in the defense of Hindraf ‘s plight. Also your analysis and argument shooting down the average income of malaysians as declared by mr.semi value is a good point to note and share.

    Me , my wife and ALL my in-laws are truly proud of you!!! Keep up the good work in defending the freedom of the speech and the basic human rights that should be the BIRTH RIGHT of every living human being including ALL malaysians. jan10 ’08 12.19am

     
  34. Dear Anil

    Thank you for speaking out for us all. We many are not into writing but have hearts torn by the over powering bullying tactics of the BN Government that wishes to keep the status quo regardless of the Malaysians’ cry for an honest deal.

    The Government trample on the national Constitution and rights enshrined therein, having contaminated even the Judiciary and brow-beaten the Police Force to do their will. However, I agree with mohd kassim bin ahmad that all is not lost for Malaysia…a Bangsa Malaysia must rise from these troubled times.

    Kind Regards
    Ranen Bhattacharyya

     
  35. Thank you for your concise yet not emotional look at things. this site is definitely a credible read. you do not apologize for what you believe in and you explain yourself well. thanks for keeping us informed on issues we have no info on or access to.

    By a coincidence, today is Christmas Day. Merry Christmas :)

     
  36. saudara anil,

    welcome to the blog world. i just hope you keep on doing what you’re doing and don’t give up and migrate elsewhere. this place called malaysia is still worth saving.

    kind regards

     
  37. Hello Anil,

    Peace is yours and mine and the right of human being!
    This is old friend Xavier Andrew (Deacon when in Klang)
    Reading your column in herald now and then and now of Hindraf in this site of yours, I am indeed very pleased there is a Chrisitian who is truly Christ like in going beyond the barriers of religion to write objectively of and for justice and that’s what a true Christian is. Not practising religion but living your Faith! I stand in this course in the same spirit!
    Thank you and Congrats dear Mr. Anil.
    God Bless.

     
  38. Hi Anil,
    This is your good old former colleague and friend from JB. Nice to read all the interesting articles in your blog. I really admire you because you because despite of your high academic qualification you have given up fat salaries and good perks of the corporate world to champion the spirit of democracy and well being of the rakyat in the country. From those days till to date I haven’t found anyone else who truly have the muhibbah spirit like you. Keep up your good work and may god bless you.

    Thinakaran Retnam

     
  39. Anil:
    I was thinking of you as I came across the following:
    Last Thursday, the House Foreign Affairs
    Committee unanimously approved a resolution introduced by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., demanding human-rights reforms in Vietnam. At the center of the country’s shameful record is Father Nguyen Van Ly, a Roman Catholic priest and editor of a pro-democracy publication who was sentenced March 30 to eight years in prison simply for peacefully opposing the Communist regime.

    After hearing the verdict in this farce Vietnam called a trial, Father Ly shouted “Down with the Communist Party of Vietnam!” – and was then dragged away. Like most events nowadays that threaten tyrannical regimes, this stirring moment was caught on camera and distributed across the globe on YouTube.

    I sure would like to meet Fr Ly and shake his hand for his courageous stance against communism and totalitarianism, wouldn’t you? God bless him and protect him.

    We spent a month in Penang going to church at Assumption, Our Lady of Sorrows and St FX. I wish I knew you were there, I would have enjoyed meeting you and having you to our boat for dinner.

    I will store our boat in Penang for a few years and return to the good old USA to work (and campaign vigorously for Republicans!) When we get back to Malaysia I hope to look you up. Please pass along my best to Fr Andrew. I wish you every success.

    God bless America and our great president GWB.

    Your sailing American friend,
    Joe Rooney

     
  40. Greetings Mr. Anil,

    It’s a pleasure to come across your blog. You were the one who wrote the report on Karpal Singh apologizing to my taking him to task at the Forum Keadilan in Dewan Sri Pinang, way back in 1999.

    Do you still have the report?

    Would be much obliged if you could email me a copy.

    Thank you sir.

    Zainol Abideen a.k.a Mahaguru58

     
  41. At last, I get to know the person behind the name & face….bio-data.

    All the best. Would be glad to meet up the next time your ae in KL

    GOD BLESS YOU & LOVED ONES

    Aloysius

     
  42. Hello Anil

    Your friend Clem Jarvis is visiting me here , Neerim South . Australia

    We commend you on your web site , love every word of it .

    Liz and Clem send thier regards to you

    Mike

     

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