Sir Humphrey, the OSA and Nathaniel Tan

There is a line in the hit political satire series "Yes, Minister" where the pompous Sir Humphrey explains the real reason for the archaic...

Hidden world of clinical trials in Malaysia

Some years ago, I read a John Le Carre novel, The Constant Gardener, later turned into a motion picture, about the intrigue surrounding a...

“Hell, the whole Bakun Dam catchment is under logging”

I was shocked when I saw aerial images of logging access roads criss-crossing the Bakun catchment area and photographs of forests being cleared...

“Misfits” not invited to globalisation party

We can see them everywhere, if only we care to look more closely: the cleaners, the security guards, the check-out counter staff, the domestic...

Rommel, the NEP and the EU’s hidden agenda

When writing the piece below for IPS, I spoke to economist Charles Santiago, who told me that non-Malays are so tired of the discrimination...

Locking ourselves in and throwing the key away

The comments by the head of the European Commission delegation to Malaysia, Thierry Rommel, have triggered a storm a controversy with a lot of...

Death of a migrant worker

Malaysians are so riveted by the Altantuya murder case that they didn't notice that another foreign national has died in Malaysia in mysterious circumstances....

Oil wars and nuclear nightmares

What happens when one day you go to the petrol station and find that there is no more petrol? One of the main worries...

Size does matter: Small is beautiful

We are told Bigger is Better. Big Airports, Big Bridges, Big Corporations, Big Shopping Malls, Big Dams, Bigger Banks, Bigger Plantation Firms, Bigger Highways...

Fudging the real causes of global warming

Although there is now belated recognition of global warming as a critical issue for humanity to grapple with, world leaders and the mainstream media...

How corporate con-artists “cook the books” and engage in fraud

It is not difficult to "cook the books", as most accountants will be aware. But what about the external auditors? They are supposed to be...

Transmile’s RM333m shocker: Cooking the books in Malaysia

So a special audit of Transmile Group has discovered that its revenue for 2005 and 2006 may have been overstated by over RM500 million...

Constantine, Christianity and the values of Empire

Emperor Constantine's conversion to Christianity had a profound impact on history. The imperial values of the Roman Empire were pitted against the values...

World Bank should go with Wolfowitz

So Wolfowitz goes without being held accountable for his criminal scheming against Iraq. After I wrote the piece below, an academic friend told me, "Although...

“I don’t know anything about politics”

Some people complain when they hear sermons from religious preachers which they think are too “political”. Many feel uncomfortable when these preachers question the...

The classic divide-and-rule strategy

As we celebrate 50 years of Independence and 44 years of Malaysia, we would do well to consider some of the cleavages in our...

Moses and Gandhi: From “small people” to inspiring leaders

Very often, we admire the brave women and men of history who dared to stand up and lead their people against authoritarian and tyrannical...

Scomi and the “gift” to Penang commuters

In February, newspapers reported that government-owned RapidKL would take over the management of the bus system in Penang, putting an end to Penangites' public...

Ijok: Is there more than Najib vs Anwar at stake?

So I gather some see this by-election as a proxy battle between Najib and Anwar. Others see it as a mini-referendum on the Barisan...

The not-so-golden golden years

Whenever we talk of marginalised groups, many of us tend to think of migrant workers, Orang Asli, refugees, plantation workers and squatters, people with...