In our cover story, P Ramakrishnan recalls how Malaysians woke up on 8 March 2008 after half a century of slumber. He now urges them to generate a new tsunami of progressive non-racist politics and to eliminate racial politics in the country.
There are worrying signs of another tsunami creeping up on us: a recession, which will hit the poor the hardest – especially after higher fuel prices earlier this year and uncontrolled speculation had sent food prices soaring. Aliran was one of the organisers of a forum looking at the Malaysian response to the global food price crisis.
It was a unique event that brought together grassroots communities, activists and academics. At the forum, Subramaniam Pillay discussed the reasons behind the higher prices and stressed that governments have the right to regulate markets to ensure food at reasonable prices for all. Jojo Fung looked at the dynamics and interaction during the forum, at the end of which participants came up with a final declaration.
Meanwhile, the global slowdown has already hit one factory on mainland Penang. Joethi Sahadevan looks at the plight of the the retrenched workers of Nikko Electronics Bhd and wonders how they are going to live on the measly compensation they have received.
Is it not possible to create a more just society? Jeyakumar Devaraj pays tribute to one person who believed it is possible – the late Dr M Rajakumar. Another tribute to this great man comes in the form of a poem which the late national literary laureate Usman Awang composed in Malay – and which Wong Soak Koon has now translated to English to reach a wider audience.
Someone else who has been pursuing the cause of justice is Marina Lee Abdullah, who has inspired many Malaysians, including ‘The Man With d Video Cam’.
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