Photograph: South China Morning Post

The pro-Umno Red Shirts should think twice if they plan to create a ruckus in Kuala Lumpur on 19 November. China, which has just entered into a slew of investment agreements with Malaysia, will no doubt be watching events here with interest.

This is an article I wrote for Aliran:

It must be a confusing time to be one of the nationalist pro-Umno Red Shirts. What would they make of the giant state-run and listed firms from China that are now going to be involved in billions and billions of ringgit worth of infrastructure contracts in Malaysia?

Photograph: Wikipedia

Those behind the Brexit vote often painted the bureaucracy of the European Union as bloated.

So let’s take a look at the EU staffing headcount: 32,900. According to Malaysia’s former head of mission there in the 1990s, these EU civil servants responsible for 28 nations were of the highest quality.

How does this compare with Najib Razak’s Prime Minister’s Department? Well, the last figure I could find was reported in Utusan in 2010. Headcount: 43,544. (What is the figure now?)