Penang news

26 teams set up to combat election bookies in Penang

Penang police have set up 26 special intelligence teams to monitor bookie activities during the 13th General Election. Penang deputy police chief SAC Datuk Abdul Rahim Jaafar said that the police are also seeking the help of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to gather information essential to tracking down the individuals or gambling syndicates involved.

He added that any arrests made will be investigated under Section 6 (3) of the Betting Act 1953 that stipulates a maximum five-year jail sentence or RM200,000 fine, or both, upon conviction.

Yang di-Pertua Negri sworn in for a fifth term

Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas was sworn in as the Penang Yang di-Pertua Negri for a fifth term. Abdul Rahman, the seventh Yang di-Pertua Negri, took his oath before the High Court Justice Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin at his official residence at Seri Mutiara yesterday.

His latest term will start May 1 and will be for a period of two years.

Jade Buddha makes a stop in Penang

The Jade Buddha for Universal Peace, the world’s largest jade Buddha statue, was in Penang from April 5-14.

The statue’s founder, Ian Green, says that the exhibition was organised by the Chokyi Gyaltsen Centre (CGC) and is the first of its kind in Penang as part of its world tour that began in early 2009. President of the CGC Dr Daniel Yeoh says that he hopes the Jade Buddha will inspire everyone who sees it to find peace.

The statue was carved from a rare single 18-tonne boulder of Polar Jade that was discovered in Canada in 2000 and is modelled after the famous Shakyamuni Buddha statue in Bodhygaya. Countries that have exhibited the Jade Buddha include Vietnam, Australia, Europe, Thailand, Taiwan and the US.

QUESTIONING MALAYSIA’S ACHIEVEMENTS

Book review by Francis E. Hutchinson

Done Making Do, by Ooi Kee Beng, Genta Media/ISEAS, 2013, 172 pp.

Done Making Do is a collection of articles written over the last two years by Ooi Kee Beng.

The term “compilation” doesn’t quite do justice to this book, as there are a number of strong threads that bind it into a solid unit.

Largely focused on Malaysia, Done Making Do provides a commentary on the key political developments in the country in the recent past. Topics include: the parliamentary by-elections; Bersih 2.0 and its aftermath; the repeal of the ISA; and Anwar’s acquittal. Underlying the treatment of these issues is an analysis of the country’s transition from a single coalition system to a twocoalition and, thus, more competitive political system.

In analysing these themes, the book is motivated by a number of clear ideals. Political plurality, transparency, good governance, post-colonialism, creativity and the power of the individual are all clearly important themes to the author, and are used as gauges against which the quality of Malaysia’s governance is measured.

Despite its contemporary focus, these central themes are used to make connections to other time-periods and countries. Thus, we are taken back to the Malayan Union, Merdeka and key points in Malaysia’s post-independence history. Similarly, we are taken to cities and countries that are important to the author, such as Stockholm, Hong Kong, Ireland and Istanbul. However, the themes are always brought back to Malaysia or the book’s underlying questions, namely, “Where is Malaysia going, and is this the best way to get there?”

In addition to the historical dimension, this book has a very personal aspect. The author’s work as a biographer shines through, as the reader spends time with key personalities from today and yesteryear. Thus, Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman and Tun Lim Chong Eu make important appearances, as do Anwar Ibrahim and Liew Chin Tong. Mahathir also makes a vicarious appearance in a review of his book Doctor in the House – which is not for the faint-hearted and is, incidentally, my favourite.

Done Making Do questions Malaysia’s achievements with rigour, humour and humanism – ideals sorely needed at this juncture.

Francis E. Hutchinson is a fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (Iseas).



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