Speaking for the reformasi generation
The articles and essays in this book are arranged in such a way that they reflect the thoughts and ideas of Liew Chin Tong. It is the author’s journey throughout 2003 – 2009.
Part I deals with the author’s key ideas such as his reflections on the political awakening of the reformasi generation, i.e. those who witnessed the political upheaval of 1998 when then Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad sacked his deputy Datuk Seri
Anwar Ibrahim for alleged abuse of power and sexual misconduct. Until today the sexual allegations have never been proven.
Chin Tong also shares the trials and tribulations of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) as well as its victory in the political tsunami of March 8, 2008 in his article We went through hell and back. The article Lets fight it out was written in anticipation of a serious political crisis, penned just days before Barisan Nasional usurped power in Perak via the defection of two assemblymen from both Parti Keadilan Rakyat and DAP.
Part II is all about the reign of fifth Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi whose era is remembered by many as the years of folly, flip-flopping and nothing much, as well as the rise of racial politics. The articles Abdullah’s long honeymoon over and Abdullah’s last chance to build legacy illustrate his points. The author also shares his participation in some of the by-elections held after March 8, 2008 such as the Permatang Pauh by-election, which saw the return of Anwar Ibrahim to Parliament, and the Kuala Terengganu by-election that retained PAS comfortably after BN put forward an unpopular candidate linked to the camp of Abdullah Badawi. This is made clear in his article, My candidate, your problem. Chin Tong also explains the role played by Mahathir in destroying Abdullah’s government in He helped rid two PMs, will Abdullah be next?
Part III deals with the sixth Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, a man zealously trying to portray himself as a statesman in the stature of his late father second Prime Minister Tun Razak Hussein. Yet as Chin Tong points out, Najib is struggling
to overcome problems created by Mahathir and escalated by his predecessor Abdullah Badawi. Articles such as Najib misses the point, Malaysia misses the boat and Najib the prince illuminate the author’s points.
Part IV is devoted to his favourite subject – Parti Islam SeMalaysia or PAS – which was also the topic of the dissertation he wrote for his honours degree, focusing particularly on the rise of the Young Turks in the party long dominated by conservative ulama. He also shares his observations pertaining to closer rapport between the “mainstreamers” of PAS and his DAP party.
Part V is a random selection of his articles and essays written in the past five years on the much needed reform for Malaysia. Among Chin Tong’s favourite subjects is parliamentary reform, of which he writes extensively here with articles such as Needed urgently: A better Parliament and Cannibalised Parliament. He also touches on subjects such as the bloated Cabinet, the possibility of having a government for the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia’s fiscal policy, as well as the problems of the public sector.
ISBN: 978-983-44629-2-5 (pbk.)
Author: Liew Chin Tong
Publisher: Research for Social Advancement (REFSA)
No of Pages: 224
Price: MYR 35.00 (excluding postage cost)
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