Abiding Times 2 by Tunku Zain Al-'Abidin Muhriz

By Tunku Zain Al-'Abidin Muhriz

This publication includes articles chosen ordinarily from the author's column, 'Abiding Times', in theSun, Malaysia, in addition to others. released among July 2010 and August 2011, they have been written within the interval after Tunku 'Abidin's go back from the USA and covers his position in principles. From calling for the assessments and balances so the most important to the powerful functioning of a democratic society to be bolstered, to reminding all contributors in a democratic society in their rights and tasks, the writer writes in a language that's effortless to learn and with a wry experience of humour.

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This particular production was generally well done but – and this is true for previous Malaysian musicals with the exception of P Ramlee – the Musical (for which comparatively little new music had to be composed) – the songs were a little Lloyd Webber-lite, rather than authentic imaginations based on indigenous musical themes. Thankfully the dancing made these numbers more palatable. Another interesting production that may not have been seen by many people is a new documentary on Tunku Abdul Rahman called The Residency Years.

I was grateful for all the positive feedback I received for the first book, but one thing I’ve encountered is that some people are too deferential or hesitant to criticise in person. Indeed, when meeting members of the political or bureaucratic establishment I often have to engage in casual chat throughout an entire dinner before they reveal that actually, they took issue with something I wrote in the past. This politeness may stem from adherence to adat or other cultural traditions, but the problem is that the same propensity amongst educated professionals to not forcefully criticise others, when replicated on a larger scale, gives succour to the moronic rants of some warlord-politicians or the thuggish actions of their henchmen who feel they can act with impunity.

If the government were truly keen to protect the freedom of association, then it would repeal the offending Rule in the Education Act 1996. The original Napoleon was reportedly not very pleasant, and I doubt his wannabes, however little, are either. And yet I understand the urge to be a Napoleon. Anyone who has ever played SimCity or similar games will have felt the sublime satisfaction in seeing one’s civilisation expand and flourish in one’s image: bulldoze a tower there, build a park here, whack a nuclear power plant there.

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