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.

But soon I found that corporate life and its values were not for me. There had to be more to life than making money and being obsessed with the bottom-line.

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. For several years, apart from being involved in civil society, I was senior writer for Asia Times Online, and Malaysia correspondent for Inter Press Service, an international news agency focusing on developing countries.

These days I am involved in Aliran and Penang Forum, which discusses sustainable development issues. Oh, and I also write a weekly column for The Herald.

The rest of the time, I spend on this blog. I am grateful for the contributions of a team of volunteer ‘citizen journalists’ in the comments section of this blog, a few of which I publish as guest contributions.

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


  1. 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


    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.


  2. 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,

    • 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

  3. 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…..

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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


  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.


    Gopal Raj Kumar

  12. 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!)

  13. 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.



  14. 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?

  15. 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.

  16. Would like to support the tram for Penang project. My nephew an architect did the upgrading of the tram system in Melboure, Australia about a year ago. If you wish to gether more inform you can contact him at [email protected].

  17. 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)



  18. 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..


  19. 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

  20. 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!

  21. Hi Anil,

    I like the way your new site looks! It’s wat i’d like to term ‘pleasure-able-reading’ =)

    Keep writing for the sake of a better Malaysia

  22. 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.

  23. 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


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